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Story  of  Minstrelsy 


The  Walter  Scott  Publishing  Co.,  Ltd 

New  York:    Charles  Scribner's  Sons 

"To  pretend  to  frame  a  history,  or  anything  resembling  one, 
from  the  scanty  gleanings  it  is  possible  to  collect  upon  the  sub- 
ject of  our  ancient  songs  and  vulgar  music,  would  be  vain  and 
ridiculous.  To  bring  under  one  view  the  little  fragments  and 
slight  notices  which  casually  offer  themselves  in  the  course  of 
extensive  reading,  and  sometimes  when  they  are  least  likely  to 
occur,  may  possibly  serve  to  gratify  a  sympathetic  curiosity, 
which  is  all  here  aimed  at,  and  when  so  little  is  professed,  there 
can  scarcely  be  reason  to  complain  of  disappointment." 





AN  inquiry  into  the  origin  of  Minstrelsy  would  necessi- 
tate a  consideration  of  the  earliest  beginnings  of  Folk- 
song, the  invention  of  which,  if  not  anterior  to,  is  in 
all  likelihood  coeval  with  the  origin  of  Speech.  But 
men  may  have  sung  before  speech  was  vouchsafed 
them.  The  animal  world  gives  the  thought  a  curious 
impulse : 

"  Hark  !  hark  !  the  lark  at  Heaven's  gate  sings." 

Man's  highest  Te  Deum  can  do  little  more. 

The  curious  may  discover  some  pleasure  in  tracing 
the  faint — almost  illegible — characters  which  stand  for 
the  first  records  of  music.  Such  an  enterprise,  how- 
ever interesting,  is  not  within  the  scope  of  our  book. 
"  Language,"  says  Max  Miiller,  "  begins  where  inter- 
jections end.  There  is  as  much  difference  between  a 
real  word,  such  as  to  laugh  and  the  interjection  ha!  ha! 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

between  /  suffer  and  oh!  as  there  is  between  the  in- 
voluntary act  and  noise  of  sneezing  and  the  verb  to 
sneeze.  We  sneeze  and  cough,  and  scream  and  laugh, 
in  the  same  manner  as  animals;  but  if  Epicurus  tells 
us  that  we  speak  in  the  same  manner  as  dogs  bark, 
moved  by  nature,  our  own  experience  will  tell  us  that 
this  is  not  the  case."  That  scream  and  laugh  is  possibly 
the  first  hint  at  emotional  expression — apart  from 
speech.  One  can  further  picture  the  cries  of  rage  and 
pain,  of  defiance  and  warning,  which  primitive  man 
must  have  uttered,  in  a  language  not  that  of  speech, 
but  rather  a  musical  foreshadowing  of  the  battle-cry, 
the  hunting  song,  the  funeral  chant;  for  the  struggle 
for  existence  would  explain  the  two  first,  while  the 
third  should  be  as  old  as  the  human  race. 

We  must,  of  course,  look  to  the  East  for  the  original 
attempts  at  a  systematized  music.  It  is  the  privilege  of 
ancient  history  to  mix  facts  with  fables,  or  where  the 
first  is  wanting,  to  supply  the  second.  Thus,  we  read 
that  music  was  invented  by  the  Emperor  Fu  Hsi  (B.C. 
2852).  If  so,  the  effort  must  have  exhausted  the 
musical  energy  of  China,  which  to  this  day  has  got  no 
farther  than  single  sounds ;  and,  if  we  are  to  believe 



Van  Aalst,  these  are 
delivered  without  any 
expression.  There  is 
a  painting  on  one  of 
the  tombs  in  the  Pyra- 
mids which  represents 
a  group  of  eight  flute- 
players  engaged  in 
concert,  the  date  of 
which  (according  to 
Lepsius)  is  prior  to 
2000  B.C.  An  instru- 
ment probably  older 
than  the  flute  was  dis- 
covered at  Dordogne 
(France) — a  kind  of 
whistle  formed  by 
boring  a  sound-hole 
in  the  hollow  bone  of 
an  animal  (some  two 
inches  in  length).  It 
is  presumed  (by  M. 
Lartet)  to  have  been 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

used  as  a  whistle  when  hunting  animals.  Hardly  more 
reliable  are  the  accounts  which  fix  the  origin  of  the 
Druids'  orders  in  Britain  as  dating  from  1013  B.C.,  or 
the  introduction  of  the  harp  into  Ireland  by  Heber  and 
Heremon,  1000  B.C.  Those  who  would  have  history 
cast  her  pale  light  on  such  dark  times  must  be  glad 
even  of  scraps  such  as  these.  But  the  only  real 
history  which  concerns  music  is  that  contained  in  the 
fossil  remains,  sculpture,  and  painting  of  ancient  times, 
which  needs  more  elucidation  than  it  has  hitherto 
received,  to  be  of  any  popular  use. 


October •,  1907. 



Definition  of  Minstrelsy — Druids — Pytheas — Saxon  Chronicle — 
Thor  and  Wodin— Vortigern— Wassail— Caxton's  Chronicle 
— Scalds — Romans — King  Arthur — Gleemen — Bede — Alfred 
the  Great — Anlaf  the  Dane— Cnut — The  Horn— Chanson 


First  Christian  Church — Saint  Csecilia — Organum  Hydraulicum — 
"  Aeterna  Christi  munera" — Antiphons — Neumes — Dunstan 
— Boys  in  monasteries — Benedictines — Cloveshoe — Church 
minstrels  .  .  .  .  .  -3° 


Chivalry  and  Romance — Lais — Normandy — Troubadours — Joglars 
—  Tournaments  —  Duke  Guinne  —  The  "gay  science"  — 
Anselm  Faiditt — Feats  of  agility  .  .  .  4 1 


The    Conquest — King's   Minstrel — Minstrel's  Priory — Ebor  the 

Organ-builder — Rudel — Two-part  music — Pierre  de  Corbain       49 


Richard  I.  and  Blondel — Durrenstein  Castle — A  king's  ransom 
— Talbot — A  love-song — Chester  Fair — Magna  Charta — A 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 


soothsayer  and  minstrel — "Sumer  is  icumen  in" — Middle 
Ages — Last  of  the  Crusades — Fabled  massacre  of  Welsh 
bards— Minstrels  and  heralds  .  .  .  -59 


Monks  and  Minstrels — Pentecost — Proclamations — Robin  Hood — 
"Ensi  va" — Piers  Ploivman — Morris  Dance — Gests — Rit- 
son's  MS. — Theorists — Tutbury  Court  —  Henry  V. — Agin- 
court  —  Lydgate  —  Minstrels'  pay  —  Noweli —  "  Row  the 
boat,  Norman" — Miracle-plays — Musicians'  charter — Waites 
— Music-printing — Sir  John  Howard — "Chevy  Chase"  and 
"John  Dory"  .  .  .  .  .  .76 


Tudor  period — Henry  VII. 's  household  expenses — "  Westron 
wynde" — First  dramatic  music — Robin  Hood — Henry  VIII. 
— "  Passetyme  " — Maying — Court  music — Freemen's  songs 
—  Puttenham  —  Charter  renewed  —  Tusser — Wolsey — Anne 
Boleyn — "The  Hunt  is  up" — Ghostly  psalms — Reformation 
— Suppression  of  monasteries — Bow  Bells — University  in- 
fluence—Henry VIII. 's  obsequies  .  .  .  120 


Cranmer's  Liturgy — Dr.  Tye — Richard  Sheale — Edward  VI. 's 
Musicians  and  Players — John  Heywood — "  Little  John  No- 
body"— Gentlemen  of  the  Chapel — Tallis  and  Byrde — Mary 
Tudor— Clerks  of  London— Sir  William  Forrest  .  .158 


Elizabethan  period — Church  ceremonies — Byrde'g  "Reasons" 
— Morley — Masques — "  Preces  Deo  Fundamus" — Elizabeth's 
progresses — Barney's  absurdities — A  carol — Gresham  College 
— Dowland — Este — Beggars  and  rogues  .  .  .  175 





Stuart  period— Gunpowder  Plot — Catch  for  five  voices — Musi- 
cians' Company — Masques  and  plays — Playford — Closing  of 
the  theatres — Cromwellian  carols — Dorothy  Osborne — Loth 
to  depart  —  Restoration  —  Dr.  Rogers  —  Four-and-twenty 
fiddlers  —  Mace — Jenkins — Purcell — Handel — Arne — Retro- 
spect .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  194 


"  Sermons  in  stones  "  —  Wells  Cathedral  —  Worcester— Peter- 
borough— Minstrels'  Gallery,  Exeter — Beverley  Minster — St. 
Mary's  — "  Meynstyrls  Pillor "  .'  .  .  .214 


Evolution  of  Harmony — Hucbald — Tenth-century  carol — Guido — 
Twelfth  century  example — Adam  de  la  Hale — A  French 
chanson — Guillaume  de  Machault — Bodleian  example  .  219 


Chaucer  and  music — "  Angelus  ad  Virginem  " — Glasgerion — The 
Raye — Symphonic — Hornpipes  of  Cornewaile — Shakespeare 
and  music — "Hold  thy  peace,  knave" — "Hey,  Robin!" — 
Autolycus'  songs— "  Heart's-ease  "  ....  230 



Ballads  —  Dance-tunes  —  Nobilitas  Ornata— Thirteenth-century 
dance-tune  —  "  Sellenger's  Round  "  —  Cushion  Dance  — 
Trenchmore— Earliest  printed  ballad— Walsingham— Robin 
Hood  Ballad— Hanging-tunes— "  Come  o'er  the  boorne, 
Besse"— "  Robin,  lend  to  me  thy  bow" — Dorset's  sea-song  251 


Story   of  Minstrelsy 




Songs— What    is    a    "folk-song"?— "Farewell,    dear    love"- 
Weelkes — Coperario — "Wert  thou  much  fairer?" — Purcell 
— "  I  attempt  from  Love's  Sickness" — Cross,  the  engraver — 
"  Lilliburlero  "  —  Blow — Leveridge — Carey — Green — Young 
— Arne— Dibdin — Balfe — Madrigals  and  glees  •    280 


A  word    to    the    Folksong   Society — Song-collecting — Author's 

experiment — "Come,  all  ye  fox-hunters" — Adieu     .  .     302 

(i)  Literature  of  Minstrelsy,  (2)  Song  Collections  .  .     309 

Glossary  and  Definitions   ......     324 

Chronological  Table  .  .  .  .  .  .328 

INDEX       ........     331 


List  of  Illustrations. 


Facsimile  of  "  Sumer  is  i-cumen  in  "  .  .      Frontispiece 

1.  An  Egyptian  Concert  .                         .            .             .          ix 

2.  Psaltery  of  the  Ninth  Century          .  .             .            .         15 

3.  Bas-relief  of  Eleventh  Century         ....    22-23 

4.  Kyrie  by  St.  Dunstan  35 

5.  Fourteenth-century  Fiddle  .....         46 

6.  Ritson's  MS.  .            .                        .            .            .86 

7.  "Athesyghes"      .  .                                     .            .154 

8.  A  Regal  Player        .  .             .            .            .            .164 

9.  Minstrels'  Gallery,  Exeter   .....       216 

10.  Fourteenth-century  Minstrel  .                                             226 

11.  "  Angelus  ad  Virginem "      .  .             .                         .       232 

12.  "  Nobilitas  ornata "  .             .             .        •'    .            254-255 

13.  Thirteenth-century  Dance    .....       257 

14.  Sellenger's  Round    ......       259 

15.  Dorset's  ballad         ......       279 

16.  "  I  attempt  from  love's  sickness  "    ....       290 

17.  "The  Vocal  Grove"  .....       296 

1 8.  "Tally-ho"  .                                                                .       302 


Story  of  Minstrelsy. 


Definition  of  Minstrelsy — Druids — Pytheas — Saxon  Chronicle — Thor 
and  Wodin — Vortigern — Wassail  —  Caxton's  Chronicle— Scalds — 
Romans — King  Arthur — Gleemen — Bede — Alfred  the  Great — 
Anlaf  the  Dane— Cnut — The  Horn— Chanson  Roland. 

MINSTRELSY  scarcely  needs  a  set  definition ;  for,  though 
it  originally  applied  to  the  art  of  a  particular  class  of 
musician,  the  word  has  grown  with  the  times,  and, 
without  violence  to  its  derivation,  has  come  to  mean 
much  more.  In  our  pages  it  stands  for  the  whole  body 
of  secular  song  which  is  not  too  new  to  be  unproved 
by  Time,  and  which  possesses  sufficient  breadth  to  be 
ranked  as  National.  The  chief  merit  of  such  a  definition 
is  its  convenience.  Thus  "  Lilliburlero "  and  "Rule 
Britannia"  may  be  discussed,  no  less  than  "  Chevy 
Chase  "  or  the  "  Agincourt  Song  " ;  not,  indeed,  that  we 
erroneously  imagine  Purcell  or  Arne  to  be  minstrels, 

i  B 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

but  because  their  work  so  sufficiently  reproduces  the 
true  spirit  of  national  song  as  to  make  any  repre- 
sentative collection  absurd  lacking  them.  The  use  of 
the  word  minstrel  in  the  Old  Testament  seems  to  have 
been  in  the  sense  of  an  instrumental  musician.  "But 
now  bring  me  a  minstrel,"  commanded  the  prophet 
Elisha.  "And  it  came  to  pass,  when  the  minstrel 
played,  that  the  hand  of  the  Lord  came  upon  him." 
In  the  description  of  the  raising  of  Jairus's  daughter 
(Matt.  ix.  23,  24),  we  read  that  when  our  Saviour  "  came 
into  the  ruler's  house,  and  saw  the  minstrels  and  the 
people  making  a  noise,  He  said  unto  them,  Give  place: 
for  the  maid  is  not  dead,  but  sleepeth." 

Dr.  Percy's  famous  definition  of  the  minstrels  as  "an 
order  of  men  in  the  Middle  Ages,  who  subsisted  by 
the  arts  of  poetry  and  music,  and  sang  to  the  harp 
verses  composed  by  themselves,  or  others,"  fitted  very 
well  the  Provencal  joglar,  who  was  both  poet  and 
musician,  and  travelled  from  court  to  court;  but  when 
it  came  to  be  employed  in  connection  with  the  English 
joglar,  the  class  had  so  changed  that  minstrel  meant 
mountebank,  travelling  showman,  tavern  singer. 

Stafford  Smith  no  doubt  had  this  in  mind  when  he 
wrote  that  "great  confusion  is  observable  in  the 
writings  of  most  of  those  who  have  professed  to  give 
any  account  of  the  minstrels ;  in  which  term  they  seem 
to  have  included,  without  distinction,  the  three  classes 
of  men  which  ought  to  have  been  kept  separate — the 
Common  Harpers,  the  Minstrels,  and  the  Provencal 
Poets."  A  clear  definition  of  the  minstrel  class  is 


given  by  Riemann  as  follows: — "  Minstrels  (Menestrels ; 
Mendtriers)  was  the  special  name  of  the  musicians  in 
the  service  of  the  Troubadours  (TrOuveres)  \  they  de- 
veloped the  songs  devised  by  the  troubadours  (with 
viol,  and  probably  also  hurdy-gurdy  accompaniment). 
But  those  poets  and  singers  who  were  not  born  of  noble 
blood  were  also  termed  minstrels  (Troveori  bastarti)\ 
the  name  troubadour  was  only  given  to  knights. 
Finally,  the  term  minstrel  acquired  the  general  mean- 
ing of  musician,  especially  fiddler  (performer  on  the 

Caius,  the  historian,  gives  the  date  1013  B.C.  as  the 
period  when  the  Druids'  orders  originated  in  Britain. 
That  it  should  be  some  nine  years  before 
the  accredited  date  of  the  Creation  and 
Fall  of  Man  appears  to  have  been  no  drawback. 
Certain  it  is  that  for  many  centuries,  whatever  of 
music  was  fostered  in  our  islands  among  the  rude 
and  barbarous  inhabitants  of  those  remote  times,  the 
Druids  were  the  only  class  of  men  likely  to  have 
cultivated  and  developed  its  capabilities.  The  entire 
culture  of  the  nation — such  as  it  was — appears  to  have 
been  in  the  hands  of  this  powerful  priesthood.  The 
three  chief  orders  were  the  Druids  (proper),  the  Vates, 
and  the  Bards.  Nothing  could  be  done  without  the 
direct  advice  and  influence  of  the  Druid  chiefs;  indeed, 
originally,  with  the  Aryan  and  other  races,  the  chief 
was  priest  as  well  as  king.  The  Celts  gradually 
established  a  distinct  order  of  priesthood,  whose  prin- 
cipal duties  lay  in  invoking  the  unknown  deities  to 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

succour  their  friends  and  frustrate  their  foes ;  divination 
—by  a  study  of  the  stars,  clouds,  wind,  smoke,  the 
flight  of  birds — sacrifices,  human  and  otherwise.  The 
Bards,  it  is  understood,  were  poets  and  musicians. 
Marcellinus  (who,  with  Strabo,  may  be  considered  an 
ancient  authority  on  the  matter)  tells  us  that  the  Bards 
were  accustomed  to  sing1  in  heroic  verse  the  brave 
deeds  and  illustrious  acts  of  their  countrymen,  accom- 
panied on  the  lyre.  The  dress  of  the  order  was  a 
kind  of  long  habit,  which,  in  the  case  of  an  officiating 
priest,  would  be  covered  with  a  white  surplice.  In 
Ireland,  the  bards'  graduate  wore  six  colours  in  their 
robes,  said  to  be  the  striped  braccce  of  the  Gauls, 
still  worn  by  the  Highlanders.  From  the  Bardic  MSS. 
it  is  further  seen  that  kings  wore  seven  colours,  lords 
and  ladies  five,  governors  of  fortresses  four,  officers 
and  gentlemen  three,  soldiers  two,  and  the  people 
but  one  colour. 

Strabo  relates  that  the  special  office  of  the  Bards,  or 
Hymners  (as  he  calls  them),  was  to  celebrate  in  verse 

the  praises  of  their  national  gods  and  heroes. 

The  epic  poems  thus  brought  into  circu- 
lation, handed  down  traditionally,  would  further  con- 
tain much  of  native  history.  These  poetical  pieces 
were  recited  with  an  accompaniment  of  the  lyre. 
Doubtless,  the  bard  also  had  a  place  in  the  high  ritual 
of  the  mystic  ceremonial  celebrated  in  the  oaken  groves 
— in  the  sacrifice  to  the  sun,  or  the  culling,  with  golden 
sickle,  of  the  sacred  mistletoe.  Incantation  may  have 
had  its  accompaniment.  Plutarch  records  a  vile  use 


Abuse  of  Music 

to  which  music  was  put  when  he  states  that  the  cries 
of  the  victims  in  the  human  sacrifices  of  the  Druids 
were  drowned  by  the  sound  of  songs  and  musical 
instruments.1  As  the  tide  of  Latin  and  Teutonic 
influence  swept  the  southern  and  eastern  shores  of 
England,  the  Druid  bards  were  driven  west  and  north 
— to  Ireland,  Wales,  and  North  Scotland.  Long  after 
the  name  of  the  order  had  perished  the  practices 
survived,  particularly  in  Ireland,  where  they  obtained 
until  the  fifth  century,  when  St.  Patrick  put  an  end 
to  the  system.  In  Wales,  too,  the  bardic  orders  were 
definitely  instituted  with  a  legal  standing.  To  this 
day — when  not  set  aside  by  religious  revivals — the 
Eisteddfodau  is  a  popular  survival  of  gatherings  which 
in  earlier  days  English  kings  were  wont  to  summon. 
Beyond  a  small  interchange  of  melodic  property,  Wales, 
Ireland,  and  Scotland  do  not  seem  to  have  had  a  really 
marked  influence  upon  English  Minstrelsy,  if  one  is 
permitted  to  judge  from  surviving  folk-song.  No 
reliable  bardic  airs  of  real  antiquity  have  come  down 
to  us,2  though  there  are  many  traces  of  Druidism 
surviving  even  to  this  day,  such  as  the  ceremonies 
of  All-Hallowmas  and  the  bonfires  of  May-day  and 

1  The  "  Holy  Inquisition"  put  music  to  the  same  abuse. 

2  It  is  not  unlikely  that  some  of  the  Irish  airs  have  an  origin  in  the 
times  which  are  alluded  to  above,  but  conjecture  is  quite  vain  in  such 
matters,  and  of  historical  guidance  there  appears  to  be  none.     With 
regard  to  the  Welsh  claims,  there  seems  no  reason  for  doubting  that 
some  of  the  airs  date  from  the  tenth  century,  and  that  the  harmony  is 
not,  as  Burney  imagined,  spurious,  though  so  late  a  date  as  the  tenth 
century  is  outside  the  period  above  considered. 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Midsummer-eve,  which  hint  at  the  grim  ritual  of  pre- 
Christian  days. 

Commenting  upon  a  passage  in  Shakespeare,  Dr. 
Burney  remarks  (Hist.  iii.  p.  335):  "  Poker  and  tongs, 
marrow-bones  and  cleavers,  salt-box,  hurdy-gurdy, 
etc.,  are  the  old  national  instruments  of  music  on 
our  island."  The  hurdy-gurdy,  a  stringed  instrument 
of  great  antiquity,  is  known  to  have  been  in  use  before 
the  Norman  Conquest ;  while  to  the  other  instruments 
mentioned  by  the  learned  doctor,  if  not  so  respectable, 
a  still  remoter  use  may  be  allowed. 

When  Pytheas,  the  Greek  navigator  and  geographer 
(384-322  B.C.),  visited  the  Cornish  shores  he  observed 
_  the  custom,  peculiar  to  the  natives,  of 

carrying  horns,  which,  judging  from  early 
specimens,  were  capable  of  being  employed  alike  for 
musical  purposes  and  for  those  of  drinking.  It  is 
difficult  to  estimate  what  effect  the  Roman  invasion 
can  have  had  upon  music.  No  doubt  for  many  years 
the  martial  tones  of  the  battle-trumpet  would  be  all 
that  the  Saxon  heard  of  his  polished  invader's  art. 
Yet  in  the  armed  camps  and  settlements  many  an 
ancient  lay  must  have  helped  to  charm  away  the 
tedious  winter  hours.  The  entry  in  the  Saxon  Chronicle 
is  characteristic  of  the  sparseness  of  historic  material 
which  helps  us  in  our  sketch  of  these  times: — 

"Sixty  winters  ere  that  Christ  was  born,1  Caius  Julius, 
Emperor  of  the  Romans,  with  eighty  ships  sought  Britain. 

1  The  true  dates  are  54  and  55  B.C. 


There  he  was  first  beaten  in  a  dreadful  fight,  and  lost  a  great 
part  of  his  army.  Then  he  let  his  army  bide  with  the  Scots,1 
and  went  south  into  Gaul.  There  he  gathered  six  hundred, 
with  which  he  went  back  into  Britain.  When  they  first  rushed 
together,  Caesar's  tribune,  whose  name  was  Labienus,  was  slain. 
Then  took  the  Welsh  sharp  piles,  and  drove  them  with  great 
clubs  into  the  water,  at  a  certain  ford  in  the  river  called 
Thames.  When  the  Romans  found  that,  they  would  not  go 
over  the  ford.  Then  fled  the  Britons  to  the  fastnesses  of  the 
woods;  and  Caesar,  having  after  much  fighting  gained  many 
of  the  chief  towns,  went  back  into  Gaul." 

There  is  extant  a  curious  form  of  oath,  which  was 
imposed  on  the  Saxon  of  the  eighth  century  when 
abjuring  Paganism:  "  I  renounce  the  devil  and  all  his 
works  and  words,  Thunaer  [Thor],  Wodan,  and  Saxon 
Odin,  and  all  such  sorcerers  their  familiars."  Although 
Odin  had  come  to  be  regarded  as  a  mythological 
personage,  even  to  the  extent  of  idolatry,  there  seems 
to  be  good  ground  for  believing  him  to  have  been  a 
real  historical  character.2  This  warlike  prince,  power- 
fully aided  by  a  regular  order  of  minstrels,  seers, 
and  priests,  succeeded  in  reviving  the  old  mythology 
and  mysteries  of  the  .North.  Odin  not  only  gave 
to  the  world  all  the  materials  of  a  great  epic,  he 
also  founded  a  kingdom.  All  literature  and  music 

1  An  error  arising  from  the  MSS.  of  Orosius  and  Bede  containing 
the  words  in  Hiberniam  for  in  hiberna.     The  text  should  therefore 
read  "in  winter  quarters." 

2  "I  am  inclined,"  says  Schlegel  in  The  History  of  Literature,  "to 
adopt  the  opinion  of  those  who  regard  Odin  as  an  historical  personage 
of  the  third  century." 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

are  permeated  with  the  heroic  bravery  of  Walhalla 
and  its  tremendous  catastrophes  of  gods  and  men. 
With  the  advent  of  Charlemagne,  Odin  and  his 
kingdom  sank  into  obscurity.  The  poetry,  however, 
lives  on,  fragments  of  it  being  discoverable  in  the 
"  Nibelungenlied."  The  oath  above  given  is  under- 
stood also  to  point  to  the  fact  that  Odin  is  a  person 
quite  distinct  from  Woden  (or  Wodan),  from  whom, 
according  to  the  Saxon  Chro?ricle,  "  arose  all  our  royal 
kindred,1  and  that  of  the  Southumbrians  also."  f 

In  the  year  449  A.D.  Vortigern  (or  Wurtgern),  king 
of  the  Britons,  invited  Hengist  and  Horsa — descendants 
__  .  of  Odin — to  come  to  his  assistance  against 

the  Picts  and  Scots.  A  large  number  of 
Saxons  were  brought  over  by  these  two  famous  leaders, 
who,  finding  Vortigern's  battles  were  easily  won, 
bethought  them  of  striking  a  blow  on  their  own  behalf. 
So  they  despatched  messengers  for  reinforcements, 
describing  the  worthlessness  of  the  Britons  and  the 
richness  of  the  land.  ''Then,"  says  the  Saxon 
Chronicle,  "came  the  men  from  three  powers  of 
Germany — the  old  Saxons,  the  Angles,  and  the  Jutes." 
Various  battles  were  fought  between  455 — when  the 
brothers  faced  King  Vortigern — and  473,  when  Hengist 
(says  the  same  authority)  "  fought  with  the  Welsh  and 
took  immense  booty,  and  the  Welsh  fled  from  the 
English  like  fire."  If  in  place  of  Welsh  and  English 
we  read  Celts  and  Saxons,  the  passage  becomes  clearer. 

1  All  "our   royal  kindred"  in  general,  and  Alfred   the   Great  in 


"Drink  hell" 

No  doubt  that  at  least  as  early  as  the  third  century 
the  coast  settlement  of  the  Saxons  in  Flanders  must 
have  sent  us  occasional  travellers,  but  their  principal 
foothold  in  England  (and  the  first  reason  for  Britain 
being  called  England)  was  secured  at  the  date  above 

It  has  been  remarked  that  the  two  very  first  Saxon 
words  which  we  know  from  historical  evidence  to  have 
been  pronounced  in  this  country  were  "Was  heil  hla, 
ond  cyning!"  (Be  of  health,  lord  king!);  to  which  the 
king  replied,  "Drink  heil"  (Drink  health).  This 
pleasant  interchange  of  greetings  took  place  between 
King  Vortigern  and  Rowena,  the  daughter  of  Hengist, 
at  Hengist's  then  newly-built  castle  of  Sydingbourn, 
Kent.  It  is  further  recorded  that  King  Vortigern  was 
so  charmed  with  the  young  Saxon  beauty  that  he  after- 
wards obtained  her  in  marriage — divorcing  his  first 
wife — and  granted  the  whole  of  Kent  to  Hengist.  The 
same  story  appears  in  Robert  de  Brunne's  metrical 
Chronicle  of  England^  which  tells  us  the  name  of  the 

1  The  incident  appears  thus  in  Chronicles  of  England  { Westminster, 
Caxton,  1482):— 

*'Of  Rone  wen  that  was  Engist's  doughter  /  and  how  the  kyng 
Vortiger  espowsed  her  for  her  bewte. 

"So  whan  this  castell  was  made  /  and  full  well  arayed  /  Engist 
pryvely  dide  sende  by  letter  to  the  countree  where  he  came  fro  /  after 
an  hundred  shyppes  fylled  with  men  that  were  stronge  and  bolde, 
and  also  well  fightinge  in  all  batailles  /  And  that  they  shold  also  bring 
with  them  Ronewen  his  doughter  /  that  was  the  fayrest  creature  that 
a  man  might  se.  And  whan  those  people  were  come  that  he  had  sent 
after  /  he  toke  them  in  the  castel  with  moche  joye.  And  himself  uppon 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Latimer^  or  interpreter,  who  acted  between  the  British 
king  and  the  Saxon  lady;  this,  it  appears,  was  a  Breton 
knight,  one  Breg,  who,  according  to  Warton,  held  the 
position  of  "  King's  Domestic  Secretary." 

With   Hengist's  victory  over  King  Vortigern,  much 
of  Britain   fell   under   Danish   rule,   which  now   could 

a  daye  /  went  unto  the  kynge  /  and  prayed  him  there  worthily  that 
he  wold  come  and  se  his  newe  Maneer1  that  he  had  made  in  the  place 
that  he  had  compassyd  wyth  a  thwonge  of  the  skynne.  The  kyng  anone 
graunted  hym  freely  /  And  wyth  hym  wente  thyther  /  and  was  well 
apayed  with  the  castell  /  and  wyth  the  fayr  werke.  And  togyder  they 
etc  and  dranke  with  moche  joy  /  and  whan  nyghte  came  /  that  this  kyng 
Vortiger  sholde  goo  into  hys  chabre  /  to  take  there  his  nyghtes  rest. 
Ronewen  that  was  Engistis  doughter  came  wyth  a  cuppe  of  golde  in 
her  honde  /  and  knelyd  before  the  kyng  /  and  sayde  to  him  '  Wassaylle,' 
and  the  kynge  knewe  not  what  it  was  for  to  meane  /  ne  what  he  shold 
answere.  for  as  moche  as  hymself  /  ne  none  of  hys  Brytons  /  cowde  noo 
englysshe  speke  ne  understonde  it  /  but  spake  in  the  same  langage  that 
Brytons  doon  yet.  Nevertheles  a  latyner  tolde  the  kyng  the  full  under- 
stondyng  thereof  'WassailP  And  that  other  shold  drynk  'haill.' 
And  that  was  the  fyrste  tyme  that  '  Washaill '  and  *  drynhaill '  came 
up  in  this  lond.  The  kyng  Vortiger  sawe  the  fayrnesse  of  Ronewen.  and 
his  armes  layde  abowte  her  necke  and  thryes  swetly  kyste  her.  And 
anone  ryght  he  was  enamoured  upon  her  /  that  he  desyred  to  have  her 
to  wyf  /  and  askyd  of  Engist  her  fader.  And  Engist  grauntyd  hym 
upon  this  covenaunt  /  that  the  kyng  shold  gave  hym  all  the  countree 
of  Kent  /  that  he  there  myghte  dwelle  in  and  his  people.  The  kyng 
him  graunted  pryvely  wyth  a  good  wyll.  And  anone  he  spowsyd 
the  damoysell  /  and  that  was  moche  confusyon  to  hymselfe.  And 
therefore  all  the  Brytons  became  so  wroth  /  for  by  cause  he  spowsid 
a  woman  mysbyleve2  /  wherefore  they  went  all  from  hym  /  and  no 
thynge  to  hym  toke  kepe  /  ne  halpe  hym  in  thynge  that  he  had  doon." 

1  Maner,  Manor;  i.e.,  house.  3  Without  permission. 


Bragi  Edda 

further  boast  a  territory  including  not  only  Denmark, 
but  also  the  southern  Swedish  provinces  of  Halland, 
Skene,  Blekinge,  the  whole  of  Schleswig,  and  a  part 
of  Normandy.  In  the  train  of  the  con- 
querors came  a  body  of  men  who  were  the 
constant  attendants  of  the  Kings  of  Denmark,  Norway, 
and  Sweden.  These  were  the  Scalds — the  ancient 
Scandinavian  poets  or  bards,  whose  duty  it  was  in 
peace  or  in  war  to  sing  the  events  which  befell  their 
lords.  Nor  were  their  songs  merely  for  diversion  at 
the  great  solemn  state-banquets,  for  the  scalds  were 
necessary  also  on  the  battle-field,  where  they  encouraged 
the  hero  in  the  fight,  or  lulled  him  as  he  lay  a-dying. 
Much  of  the  history  of  the  people  of  those  early  times 
is  found  in  the  numerous  sagas  and  eddas  still  extant. 
Hailing  originally  from  Iceland — the  University  of  the 
North — the  Scalds  soon  made  their  influence  felt  in 
England,  where  before  the  Celtic  bards  had  reigned 
supreme.  Not  a  trace  of  their  music  can  now  be 
distinguished,  but  their  poetry  shows  a  wonderful 
distinction  and  nobility  of  idea.  A  brief  example  may 
be  cited  in  the  Bragi  Edda>  from  which  we  learn  that 
the  Bragi  cup  at  guilds  and  feasts  necessitated  the 
dedication  of  a  vow,  which  was  afterwards  to  be  held 
sacred  and  inviolable,  that  he  who  pledged  would 
perform  some  deed  worthy  of  a  Scald's  song;  so  great 
was  the  incentive  to  chivalrous  acts.  Men  of  rank  and 
of  good  blood  were  not  ashamed  of  the  exercise  of  the 
poet's  art,  though  how  much  of  their  eddalays  were 
chanted  to  music  it  is  now  quite  vain  to  inquire. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Probably  the  early  Icelandic  bards  were  content  with 
the  mere  recitation  of  their  works.  Four  or  five 
centuries  were  covered  by  the  labours  of  these  pioneers 
in  the  Gothic  minstrelsy  of  Europe. 

We  have  considered  one  great  event  which  the  fifth 
century  brought  forth — namely,  the  successful  invasion 
of  England  by  the  Saxons ;  but  there  remains  a  second 
which  could  not  but  powerfully  stir  the  hearts  of  the 
people.  This  was  no  less  than  the  complete  withdrawal 
of  the  Romans  from  this  country,  an  event  which 
occurred  somewhat  earlier  in  the  century.  The  Saxon 
Chronicle  refers  to  it  as  follows,  under  so  late  a  date 
as  435  A.D.1:— 

"A. D.  435.  This  year  the  Goths  sacked  the  city  of  Rome; 
and  never  since  have  the  Romans  reigned  in  Britain.  This 
was  about  eleven  hundred  and  ten  winters  after  it  was  built. 
They  reigned  altogether  in  Britain  four  hundred  and  seventy 
winters  since  Caius  Julius  first  sought  that  land." 

"What  subjects  could  have  given  to  poetry  more 
energy  and  importance  than  these  incidents  ?  "  exclaims 
Sharon  Turner,  in  his  History  of  the  Anglo-Saxons  \ 
"  the  Bardic  genius  must  not  only  have  burnt  with  new 
zeal  and  inspiration,  but  the  chiefs  must  have  more 
liberally  encouraged  and  the  people  more  enthusiasti- 
cally applauded  it."  Such  was  the  motive  for  native 
song.  Dr.  Percy  proves  that  "  the  Anglo-Saxon 
harpers  and  gleemen  were  the  immediate  successors 
and  imitators  of  the  Scandinavian  Scalds,  who  were  the 

1  407  would  perhaps  be  nearer  the  accepted  date. 


King  Arthur 

great  promoters  of  Pagan  superstition,  and  fomented 
that  spirit  of  cruelty  and  outrage  in  their  countrymen, 
the  Danes,  which  fell  with  such  peculiar  severity  on 
the  religious  and  their  convents." 

The  hint  of  ecclesiastical  opposition  given  in  the  above 
quotation  suggests  the  inquiry,  What  had  the  Church  so 
far  achieved?  —  a  consideration  which  must 

be  reserved  for   a  further   occasion.     It   is  ° 

related  by  Geoffrey  of  Monmouth  that  Ella, 
who  succeeded  Hengist  as  King  of  the  Saxons,  had  a 
son  named  Colgrin,  who  was  shut  up  in  York,  and 
closely  besieged  by  Arthur  and  his  knights.  In  order 
to  gain  access  to  Colgrin,  his  brother  Baldulph  shaved 
his  head  and  beard,  and  assuming  the  dress  and  manner 
of  a  Scald,  was  thus  enabled  to  approach  the  trenches 
before  the  city  wall  without  suspicion.  In  this  disguise 
he  gradually  advanced,  playing  on  his  harp  the  while, 
until  within  reach  of  his  friends,  and  under  cover  of 
darkness  he  was  drawn  up  by  a  rope,  and  entering 
the  city  accomplished  his  purpose.  Rapin  gives  the 
date  of  the  incident  as  495,  though  it  must  be  admitted 
that  the  authentic  history  of  King  Arthur  scarcely 
begins  so  soon.  The  character  of  the  story  is,  however, 
confirmed  by  others  of  the  same  class.  The  true  Arthur 
—  a  chieftain,  and  possibly  the  son  of  Uther  —  has  been 
somewhat  obscured  by  the  fabulous  king  of  romance. 
There  is  an  anecdote  furnished  by  Caradoc  of  Llan- 
carvon  which  gives  an  account  of  the  seizure  of  King 
Arthur's  wife  by  Melva,  a  Somerset  prince,  who  carried 
off  the  lady  to  Glastonbury.  The  outraged  chief 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

retaliated  by  summoning  his  knights  and  hastening  to 
the  rescue  of  his  queen.  The  monks  then  interposed, 
and  Melva  surrendered  his  fair  captive.  The  tale  ends 
happily  with  substantial  rewards  for  the  monks  and 
a  joyful  return  of  the  knight  and  his  lady.  This  Arthur 
is  understood  to  have  first  assisted  the  Saxons,  while 
afterwards,  in  opposition  to  Cerdic,  he  did  his  utmost 
to  check  them.  Contemporary  history  shows  that  there 
were  several  kings  in  Britain  at  this  period,  but  the 
paramount  sovereign  was  Pendragon,  a  name  borne 
by  Arthur  and  by  his  father  before  him.  Into  the 
romance  itself,  however  fascinating  the  study,  it  is 
no  part  of  our  duty  to  go.  More  to  our  purpose — as 
casting  some  light  upon  the  history  of  the  Gleemen — is 

the  Anglo-Saxon    poem    contained    in    the 
"  Exeter    codex>    entitled,    "The    Traveller's 

Song" — the  earliest  specimen  of  its  kind. 
In  this  unique  work — understood  to  have  originated  in 
Germany  before  our  Saxon  ancestry  were  thoroughly 
settled  in  their  new  domain  of  England— an  account 
is  given  of  one  Widsith,  a  travelling  gleeman,  who 
recounts  his  adventures  and  travels  in  foreign  countries. 
This  wandering  poet  is  of  the  Myrging  tribe,  dwelling 
near  the  Eider.  His  song  celebrates  the  praises  of 
those  princes  who  treated  him  with  generosity — paying 
them  a  right  bardic  tribute. 

During  the  gradual  development  of  the  Anglo-Saxon 
rule,  and  onwards  to  its  consolidation  under  Egbert  in 
the  ninth  century,  the  Gleemen  played  an  important  part, 
leading  a  thoroughly  cosmopolitan  life.  They  went 


Poets  Laureate 

from  court  to  court,  and  everywhere  were  treated  as 
honoured  guests.  Gifts  of  great  price  were  theirs ;  and 
a  successful  member  of  the  craft  was  looked  upon  as  a 
poet  laureate.  Of  the  verses  they  sang,  it  is  not 
unreasonable  to  infer  they  often  had  composed  a  fair 
proportion.  As  non-combatants,  they  possessed  many 
peculiar  privileges,  and  while  their  person  was  under 
the  protection  of  particular 
patrons,  it  was  none  the  less 
safeguarded  by  the  great  re- 
spect in  which  the  order  was 
universally  held. 

Such  songs  as  were  sung 
by  these  men  were  learned 
by  heart  and  communicated 
orally;  for  it  must  be  borne 
in  mind  that  Guide's  nota- 
tion did  not  come  into  use 
until  the  eleventh  century. 
We  need  not  speculate  upon 
the  question  of  harmony — 
certainly  not  until  the  tenth 
century,  although  the  instru- 
ments employed  would  admit  of,  if  not  suggest  it. 
For  the  Anglo-Saxons  had  instruments  of  chords,  as 
well  as  wind-instruments,  as  is  witnessed  by  illustra- 
tions from  old  MSS.  exhibiting  the  horn,  trumpet, 
flute,  harp,  and  a  four-stringed  lyre,  all  of  which — 
it  may  be  presumed — were  in  popular  use.  Bede 
mentions  a  rarer  instrument  when  he  expresses  a 



Story  of  Minstrelsy 

desire  for  "a  player  upon  the  cithara — or  that  which 
we  call  rotae."1 

In  Bede's  Ecclesiastical  History  there  is  a  passage 
which  seems  to  show  that  it  was  customary  at  a 
banquet  or  festival  to  send  round  the  harp,  so  that 
each  guest  in  turn  might  contribute  a  song.  The 
following  is  a  modernized  version  (from  King  Alfred's 
Saxon  translation)  of  this  celebrated  passage,  which 
refers  to  the  poet  Caedmon  : — 

"  He  never  could  compose  any  trivial  or  vain  songs,  but  only 
such  as  belonged  to  a  serious  and  sacred  vein  of  thought,  when 
his  pious  tongue  was  soon  unloosed.  He  had  lived  and  moved 
in  the  worldly  state  until  late  in  life,  and  he  was  not  practised 
in  the  art  of  verse.  So,  oft,  in  an  entertainment,  where  for 
sake  of  merriment  it  had  been  agreed  that  each  in  turn  should 
sing  and  harp,  as  the  (dreaded)  instrument  was  seen  approach- 
ing, he  arose  in  shame2  from  the  supper-table  and  went  home 
to  his  house." 

1  The  instruments  in  the  early  days — until  the  sixth  century — used  by 
the  Romans  under  Cassiodorus,  were  of  three  kinds:  the  Percussion- 
alia,  the  Tensibilia,  and  the  Inflatila.     "The  percussionalia,"  says 
Sharon  Turner,  "were  silver  or  brazen  dishes,  or  such  things  as  when 
struck  with  force  yielded  a  sweet  ringing.     The  tensibilia  consisted  of 
chords  tied  with  art,  which  on  being  struck  with  a  plectrum  soothed 
the  air  with  a  delightful  sound,  as  the  various  kinds  of  cytharae.     The 
inflatila  were  wind-instruments,  as  tubae,  calami,  organa,  panduria, 
and  such  like."     (Quoted  from  Cassiodorus,  op.  ii.  p.  507.) 

2  King  Alfred  was  fond  of  paraphrasing ;  the  words  for  shame  do 
not  occur  in  Bede,  whose  text  is  as  follows  : — "  Ille  ubi  appropinquare 
sibi  citharum  cernebat,  surgebat  a  media  ccena,  et  egressus,  ad  suam 
domum  repedabat."    But  the  royal  addition  is  of  importance  as  it  shows 
what  was  expected  of  a  guest.     Being  found  wanting,  Caedmon,  in  the 
king's  phrase,  aras  he  for  sceome. 



In  Hawkins'  History  (bk.  v.,  c.  xlii.)  the  story  is  much 
amplified.  Caedmon,  upon  his  return,  has  a  vision,  in 
which  an  angel  asks  him  to  sing,  and  even  suggests  the 
subject  in  the  following  words,  "  Sing  the  beginning  of 
creatures."  Now  was  Caedmon's  tongue  untied,  and 
he  sang  a  heavenly  song,  which  when  the  vision  had 
passed  was  still  in  his  mind.  Thus  Caedmon  became  a 

Alfred  the  Great  is  well  known  to  have  studied  music 
and  poetry  at  an  early  age.  While  yet  in  his  teens  he 
had  twice  been  to  Rome,  and  sojourned  in  Paris,  as 
well  as  paid  a  visit  to  Ireland.  A  contemporary  writer 
bears  witness  to  the  prince's  industry  in  mastering 
the  Saxon  language — an  accomplishment 
which  was  afterwards  to  be  put  to  such  J  „ 
excellent  account.  "  Saxonica  poemata," 
says  Asserius,  "die  noctuque  audiens  memoriter  re- 
tinebat."  Now,  in  the  year  878,  Alfred  found  himself 
dispossessed  of  power  and  authority,  and  practically  a 
fugitive  from  the  Danes  ;  and  he  bethought  him  to 
match  craft  against  force,  and  to  oppose  skill  and 
courage  to  the  sheer  weight  of  numbers  which  the 
Danes  could  boast.  He  therefore  took  his  life  in  his 
hand,  and  assuming  the  garb  of  a  gleeman,  and  armed 
with  nothing  more  formidable  than  a  harp,  entered  the 
Danish  encampment  at  Bratton-hill,  Eddendun.  The 
royal  minstrel  was  admitted  without  suspicion  to  the 
king's  table,  where  his  songs  won  him  an  attentive 
audience.  Alfred  having  picked  up  whatever  knowledge 
seemed  useful,  retired  in  due  course,  having  made 

17  c 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

a  careful  study  of  the  nature  of  the  ground  and  the 
disposition  of  troops.  This  exploit  enabled  him  to  call 
together  his  men,  reassure  them,  and  in  a  sudden 
onslaught  which  came  as  a  surprise  to  the  Danes, 
he  so  turned  the  scale  of  battle  that  the  victory  at 
Ethandune  led  to  his  immediate  restoration.  Not  the 
least  interesting  feature  of  the  episode  is  the  fact  that 
Alfred  sang  lays  to  the  Danes  which  they  could  under- 
stand as  well  as  appreciate.1 

Though  we  are  scarcely  yet  directly  interested  in  the 

doings  of  our  neighbours  the  French,  it  is  none  the  less 

of  importance  to  note  that  in  the  year  923 

er&y  (according  to  Dufresne)  many  of  the  regular 
„.  i  clergy  and  monks  took  up  the  profession  of 
minstrelsy.  Such  a  fact  points  to  the  great 
popularity  of  this  strolling  class  of  poet-musician,  for  it 
is  not  to  be  presumed  that  well-educated  men  would 
desert  their  calling — the  penalty  of  which  was  an  in- 
stant deprivation  of  the  clerical  tonsure — unless  there 
had  been  some  prospect  of  compensation  or  gain  on  the 
other  side.  But  we  shall  shortly  return  to  this  matter. 
Even  our  own  monks  were  not  wholly  antagonistic  to 
the  native  representative  of  secular  song;  for  we  find 

1  "  It  is  an  indisputable  fact  that  the  Saxons  of  North  Germany  spoke 
the  same  dialect  as  those  of  England;  the  Franks  likewise  originally 
used  it,  since  it  was  common  to  the  whole  of  the  Germanic  North.  The 
Romans  could  employ  the  services  of  a  Frank  interpreter  in  England, 
the  Saxon  Briton  needed  none  in  Sweden,  and  when  Alfred  entered 
the  Danish  camp  in  minstrel's  disguise,  he  sang  no  foreign  lays,  but 
had  merely  to  modify  his  pronunciation  slightly."  (Schlegel's  History 
of  Literature. ) 



St.  Dunstan  (born  925)  as  a  student  much  attracted 
by  songs  and  histories,  which  he  read  with  delight,  to 
the  grave  scandal  of  his  pious  superiors.  The  volumes 
which  fell  under  his  eye  were  the  property  of  some 
Irish  ecclesiastics  who  had  visited  Glastonbury,  and  left 
the  worldly  treasures  exposed.  St.  Dunstan  was  no 
doubt  duly  punished  for  this  lapse  of  discipline,  and  we 
read  that  "he  was  arraigned  for  studying  the  vain 
songs  of  his  Pagan  ancestors,  and  the  frivolous  charms 
of  histories" — a  statement  which  proves  that  the 
graduate  saint  had  gone  somewhat  deeply  into  the 

To  the  year  934  may  be  attributed  the  adventure  of 
the  Danish  king,  Anlaf,  who  entered  the  Humber  with 
a  fleet  of  615  ships.  The  weak  opposition  which  he  met 
with  in  landing  was  soon  overcome ;  then,  in  order  to 
gain  time,  King  Athelstan  sent  messengers  to  treat 
with  the  Danish  sovereign,  whom  they  found  retired 
for  the  night.  Anlaf  rose  from  his  couch,  and  having 
hastily  summoned  a  council  of  war,  decided  to  pay 
a  secret  visit  to  the  English  camp.  He  therefore,  like 
King  Alfred  before  him,  disguised  himself  as  a  harper, 
and  singing  as  he  went,  easily  gained  access  to  the 
king's  tent.  Here  his  dancing  and  music  so  pleased 
Athelstan  that  the  supposed  harper  was  handsomely 
rewarded.  Anlaf  then  took  his  leave  ;  but  whether 
through  pride  or  some  superstitious  scruple,  he  pro- 
ceeded to  bury  Athelstan's  gift  in  the  sand.  While  so 
engaged,  one  of  the  king's  soldiers,  a  Dane,  recognized 
Anlaf,  and  reported  the  affair  to  his  chief.  Athelstan 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

thereupon  demanded  of  him  why  he  had  not  seized  the 
royal  spy;  to  which  the  soldier  replied,  "  O  king,  the 
oath  which  I  have  lately  taken  to  you,  I  once  gave  to 
Anlaf.  If  I  had  broken  it  to  him,  I  might  have  been 
faithless  to  you ;  but  deign  to  hear  a  servant's  counsel, 
and  remove  your  tent  to  another  quarter."  This  advice 
was  acted  upon,  and  in  place  of  King  Athelstan,  the 
newly-arrived  Bishop  of  Sherborne  and  his  men  occupied 
the  royal  tent.  Anlafs  surprise  attack  immediately 
followed,  and  the  poor  Churchman  fell  a  victim  to  its 
shock.  The  Saxon  Chronicle  does  not  mention  Anlafs 
escapade,  though  Athelstan's  final  victory  over  the 
Danes,  in  938,  is  specially  celebrated  in  all  the  glory  of 
verse.  Here  is  a  brief  specimen  : — 

"A.D.  938.    Here 
Athelstan  King, 
Of  earls  the  lord, 
Rewarder  of  heroes, 
And  his  brother  eke, 
Edmund  Atheling, 
Elder  of  ancient  race, 
Slew  in  the  fight, 
With  the  edge  of  their  swords, 
The  foe  at  Brumby  ! 
The  sons  of  Edward 
Their  board-walls  clove, 
And  hewed  their  banners, 
With  the  wrecks  of  their  hammers. 
So  were  they  taught 
By  kindred  zeal, 
That  they  at  camp  oft 


'Gainst  any  robber 
Their  land  should  defend, 
Their  hoards  and  homes." 

The  victory  referred  to  raised  Athelstan  in  the  estima- 
tion of  all  Europe,  while  it  excited  wild  rejoicings  on 
the  part  of  the  Anglo-Saxons,  who  turned  it  into  the 
song  which  we  have  quoted,  and  sang  it  until  it  became 
popular — finally  taking  its  place  as  a  record  of  English 

As  we  approach  the  end  of  the  tenth  century,  strange 
portents  and  ominous  signs  are  recorded  by  writers  of 
the  period,  who  could  not  escape  the  general,  or  at 
least  widespread  belief  that  the  world  would  end  in 
1000  A.D.  Thus,  the  Chronicle  just  cited  mentions, 
under  date  979 — "This  same  year  was  seen  a  bloody 
welkin  ofttimes  in  the  likeness  of  fire;  and  this  was 
most  apparent  at  midnight,  and  so  in  misty  beams  was 
shown;  but  when  it  began  to  dawn,  then  it  glided 
away."  The  single  line  devoted  to  the  year  995  is  still 
more  eloquent,  as  it  also  brings  us  nearer  to  the 
dreaded  date — "This  year  appeared  the  comet-star." 

Yet  the  affairs  of  the  country  went  forward  much  the 
same  as  before.  The  Danes  ravaged  the  country;  the 
English  quarrelled  among  themselves;  and  the  music 
most  like  to  be  heard  during  such  troublous  times  was 
that  of  the  scald  and  gleeman,  before  camp-fires  at  the 
close  of  day.  "It  is  hard  not  to  look  kindly  at  the 

1  Compare  Sharon  Turner's  remarks,  History  of  the  Anglo-Saxons^ 
vol.  ii.  p.  1 88,  ed.  1836. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 


gleeman,"  says  Dr.  Green,  "for  he  no  doubt  did  much 
to  preserve  the  older  poetry  which  even  now  was 
ebbing-  away.  When  Christianity  brought  with  it  not 
only  a  new  vehicle  of  writing1  in  the  Roman  characters, 
but  the  habit  of  writing-  itself,  it  dealt  a  fatal  blow  at 
the  mass  of  early  poetry  which  had  been  handed  down 
by  oral  tradition.  Among  the  Franks,  Charles  the 
Great  vainly  strove  to  save  the  old  national  songs  from 
perishing,  by  ordering  them  to  be  written  down.  In 
England,  Alfred  did  what  he  could  to  save  them,  by 
teaching  them  in  his  court.  We  see  them,  indeed, 
lingering  in  men's  memories  till  the  time  of  St.  Dunstan. 
But  the  heathen  character  of  the  bulk  of  them  must 
have  hindered  their  preservation  by  transfer  to  writing  ; 
and  custom  hindered  it  yet  more,  for  men  could  not 
believe  that  songs  and  annals  handed  down  for  ages  by 
memory  could  be  lost  for  want  of  memory.  And  no 
doubt  the  memory  of  the  gleeman  handed  on  this 


St.  Brice's  Eve 


precious  store  of  early  verse  long  after  the  statelier 
poems  of  Caedmon  or  Cynewulf  had  been  set  down  in 
writing1.  But  useful  as  their  work  may  have  been, 
and  popular  as  were  both  gleeman  and  tumbler,  the 
character  of  the  class  seems  to  have  been  low,  and 
that  of  their  stories  is  marked  by  the  repeated 
prohibition  addressed  to  the  clergy  to  listen  to  harpers 
or  music,  or  permit  any  jesting  or  playing  in  their 

Saint  Brice's  Eve,  November  13,  1002 — still  celebrated 
in  1734,  according  to  Bevil  Higgons — gave  birth  to  the 
first  Mystery,  or  attempt  at  religious  drama. 
The  subject  of  this  ancient  play — afterwards 
known  as  the  "Coventry  Mystery  of  Hock 
Tuesday,"  is  discovered  in  the  massacre  of  the  Danes, 
which  took  place  early  in  the  eleventh  century.  "The 
matter  [of  the  playl,"  says  an  old  writer,  "mentioneth 
how  valiantly  our  English  women  for  the  love  of  their 



Story  of  Minstrelsy 

country  behaved  themselves."  In  its  first  state,  it  is 
probable  that  the  play  was  in  dumb  show,  with 
skirmishes  and  encounters  between  Danes  and  English, 
many  of  the  former  being1  led  captive  by  the  "valiant" 
English  women. 

The  year  1016  saw  Cnut  with  his  Danish  army 
advancing  unopposed,  by  Lincoln  and  York  upon 
London,  which,  for  a  brief  period,  held  out  valiantly 
against  its  sturdy  foe.  When  the  issue  of  Assandun 
had  befallen,  and  Cnut's  rule  (after  some  merciless 
preliminaries)  had  begun  to  establish  itself  in  righteous- 
ness, naturally  enough  the  scalds  were  not  forgotten; 
and  if  not  accorded  first  place  in  the  court  festivities, 
they  were  at  least  greatly  encouraged  by  the  king's 
keen  appreciation  and  unprecedented  generosity.  Not 
only  among  his  own  people  but  even  with  strangers 
and  foreigners  the  royal  bounty  scarce  knew  any 
bounds.  This  is  well  seen  during  his  journey  from 
Flanders  to  Rome  (in  1031),  when  even  the  common 
wayfarers — of  whom  there  must  have  been  a  goodly 
number  on  the  road  to  Rome — were  succoured  and  fed 
without  so  much  as  the  need  of  asking  it. 

It  would  seem  that  this  king  was  not  only  a  patron 

of  art,    he    was   himself   able   to    compose    verses   on 

occasion.       Bentham  quotes,  in  his  History 

Cnut  as         of  Ely,   a   pleasing  story  of  Cnut   and   his 

queen  proceeding  by  water  to  the  convent 

on  the  Isle  of  Ely,  where  a  solemn  banquet  was  to  be 

held.     As  the  royal  barge  drew  near,  the  monks  were 

heard    chanting   the   hours,    a   circumstance   which   so 



delighted  the  king  that  he  was  moved  to  extemporize 
the  following  verses  : — 

"  The  monks  of  Ely  sweetly  sung 
Whilst  Cnut  the  king  there  row'd  along ; 
Row  near  the  land,  knights  (quoth  the  king), 
And  let  us  hear  the  song  they  sing." 

Ritson  observes  that  from  this  little  piece  it  may  be 
conjectured  that  rhyme  had  been  introduced  by  the 
Danes;  and  that  no  rhymed  poetry  of  the  earlier 
Saxons  is  discoverable.  Sharon  Turner,  however, 
mentions  a  rhymed  version  of  the  Gospels,  written  in 
the  ninth  century  by  Otfrid  in  "Franco-theotisc,"  and 
some  Latin  rhyme  of  622.  The  first  piece  of  this  kind  in 
the  Saxon  Chronicle  is  under  date  ion,  though  the 
poem  of  959  contains  irregular  rhyme.  Schlegel, 
speaking  of  the  same  matter,  remarks  that  "it  need  not 
surprise  us  to  find  all  German  dialects  adopting  it,  in 
the  earliest  stages  of  development." 

It  is  said  that  the  true  character  even  of  so  exalted  a 
person  as  a  king  may  be  best  seen  in  small  private  acts 
which  arise  on  the  spur  of  the  moment,  and  have 
nothing  to  do  with  a  previously  laid  plan.  The  reader 
may  judge  if  the  following  anecdote  falls  within 
such  a  consideration.  One  of  Cnut's  most  favoured 
minstrels — Thorarin  by  name1 — had  composed  a  short 
poem  extolling  his  patron's  courage  and  nobility  of 

1  The  names  of  the  famous  scalds  of  Cnut's  court  are  given  by  Snorre 
as  follows :— Sighvatr,  Ottar  the  Swarthy,  Thordr  Kolbeinson,  and 
Thorarin  Loftunga. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

character,  and  the  poet  immediately  repaired  to  the 
royal  presence  in  order  to  recite  his  panegyric.  Cnut 
was  still  at  the  banquet-table,  at  the  close  of  a  repast, 
with  many  courtiers  and  petitioners  about  him.  The 
minstrel,  growing  impatient  of  delay,  attempted  to  gain 
his  sovereign's  ear  by  suddenly  exclaiming,  "Sire,  let 
me  beg  of  you  to  listen  to  my  song,  which  is  very 
short."  Cnut  resented  this  unmannerly  interruption, 
and  replied  with  some  sternness,  "  Have  you  no  shame 
in  daring  to  appear  before  me  with  a  short  poem  on  my 
greatness?  Now,  unless  by  this  hour  to-morrow  you 
can  offer  me  full  thirty  strophes,  your  head  shall  be 
forfeit  for  your  impudence."  Thorarin  was  a  quick 
inventor,  and  had  no  difficulty  in  invoking  a  sudden 
muse,  though  his  pride  had  been  deeply  hurt.  When  the 
appointed  hour  came,  he  stood  before  Cnut,  humbled, 
but  ready  with  a  work  which  in  point  of  length  was  all 
that  his  master  could  desire  ;  and  it  may  also  have 
served  to  keep  its  author  in  mind  that  the  king  had 
shown  him  a  way  how  to  enlarge  both  his  patience  and 
his  poem.  Thus  Thorarin  kept  his  head. 

It  need  not  be  a  matter  of  surprise  that  so  ancient  an 
instrument  as  the  Horn  has  been  fabled  by  poets  and 
writers  from  early  times.  Warton  speaks  of  the  Arabian 
books  abounding  with  the  most  incredible  fictions  con- 
cerning Alexander  the  Great,  fictions  borrowed  and 
improved  from  the  Persians.  He  continues — "They 
call  him  Escander.  If  I  recollect  right,  one  of  the 
miracles  of  this  romance  is  our  hero's  horn.  It  is  said 
that  Alexander  gave  the  signal  to  his  whole  army  by  a 


Pusey  Horn 

wonderful  horn  of  immense  magnitude,  which  might  be 
heard  at  the  distance  of  sixty  miles,  and  that  it  was 
blown  or  sounded  by  sixty  men  at  once.  This  is  the 
horn  Orlando  won  from  the  giant  Jatmud,  and  which,  as 
Turpin  and  Islandic  bards  report,  was  endued  with 
magical  powers,  and  might  be  heard  at  the  distance  of 
twenty  miles.  Cervantes  says  that  it  was  bigger  than 
a  massy  beam.  Boyardo  Berni  and  Ariosto  have  all 
such  a  horn ;  and  the  fiction  is  here  traced  to  its  original 
source."  (History  of  Poetry  ^  sect,  iii.) 

A  curious  custom  obtained  with  the  Danish  kings  of 
conveying  landed  property  by  means  of  a  token;  of 
this  the  Pusey  estate  in  Berkshire  is  an  example. 
Cnut  granted  the  lands  in  question  to  an  officer  who, 
adopting  the  favourite  ruse  of  those  times,  penetrated 
into  the  Saxon  camp  disguised  as  a  minstrel,  and 
brought  back  valuable  information  which  enabled  the 
Danes  to  avoid  a  surprise  attack.  For  this 
piece  of  good  service  he  was  rewarded  with  „ 

the  broad  lands  of  Pusey,  and  an  ox-horn,1 
some  two  feet  long,  was  the  token  by  which  the  estate 
was  conveyed  and  held.  This  curious  instrument — 
which  tradition  holds  was  the  gift  of  Cnut — like  the 
horn  of  the  early  Briton,  could  sound  a  right  merry  note, 
or  hold  a  brimming  cup  of  mead,  accordingly  as  the 
screw-stopper  at  the  mouthpiece  was  manipulated. 

1  Another  use  to  which  the  horn  was  put  is  mentioned  in  Wilkins' 
Leg.  Sax.,  p.  12.  A  stranger  leaving  the  main  road  for  byways  and 
woods  was  required  by  law  to  blow  a  horn,  or  at  least  shout,  under 
penalty  of  being  treated  as  a  thief. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

A  richly-carved  and  ornamented  horn  was  a  valued  gift 
of  the  period.  On  festival  days  at  the  monasteries 
such  vessels  would  be  brought  forth  for  the  elder  monks 
to  drink  a  solemn  pledge  to  the  departed  donor. 

Thirty  years  after  Cnut's  death,  we  meet  with  an 
important  historical  incident  which  is  related  by  William 
of  Malmsbury,  and  shows  the  stimulating  effect  which 
the  minstrel  art  could  bring  to  bear  even  upon  the 
issues  of  battle.  Before  the  Battle  of  Hastings,  William 
of  Normandy  harangued  his  men,  reminding  them  of 
their  ancestors  and  the  valorous  Rollo,  their  founder. 
He  had  scarcely  finished  speaking  when  his  men 
advanced  to  the  attack,  led  by  Taillefer,  loudly  chant- 
ing songs  of  Roland  and  Charlemagne.  It  is  said  that 
the  intrepid  soldier-minstrel,  outstripping  his  friends, 
struck  the  first  blow  in  this  memorable  fight.  Down 
went  an  English  ensign-bearer,  quickly  followed  by  a 
second  victim ;  but  ere  the  Norman  could  recover 
himself  to  strike  a  third  blow  he  was  himself  biting 
the  dust.  The  opposing  ranks  then  joined  battle. 
"When  Taillefer  rode  into  the  battle  at  Hastings," 
says  Stopford  Brooke,  "singing  songs  of  Roland  and 
Charlemagne,  he  sang  more  than  the  triumph  of  the 
Norman  over  the  English;  he  sang  the  victory,  for  a 
time,  of  French  romance  over  Old-English  poetry." 
The  event  is  referred  to  in  the  following  lines  from  the 
"  Roman  de  Ron": — 

"  Taillefer  qui  mult  bien  chantout 
Sur  un  cheval  qui  tost  alout, 


Devant  le  Due  alout  chantant 
De  Karlemaigne,  et  de  Reliant, 
Et  d'Oliver,  et  des  vassals 
Qui  morurent  en  Rencevals." 

"Telfair,  who  well  could  sing  a  strain, 
Upon  a  horse  that  went  amain, 
Before  the  Duke  rode  singing  loud 
Of  Charlemagne  and  Rowland  good, 
Of  Oliver,  and  those  vassals 
Who  lost  their  life  at  Roncevals." 

(Translation  by  Rilson.) 





r>      I 



First  Christian  Church — Saint  Csecilia — Organum  hydraulicum — 
"Aeterna  Christi  munera"  —  Antiphons  —  Neumes  —  Dunstan 
— Boys  in  monasteries  —  Benedictines  —  Cloveshoe  —  Church 

HAVING  reached  the  period  of  the  Norman  Conquest,  we 
may  usefully  look  back  a  moment  and  consider  what 

the  Church  had  been  doing  all  this  time. 
-,,  c  ,  Music  would  quite  naturally  find  a  place  in 

the  ceremonials  of  the  first  Christian  Church, 
since  the  Founder  himself  sanctioned  its  use  at  the  Last 

Whether  the  old  Hebrew  melodies  were  employed, 
or,  as  is  more  likely,  the  new  spiritual  birth  called  into 
being  newly  inspired  airs,  it  is  impossible  to  decide. 
Nor  is  it  known  with  certainty  who  brought  the  Good 
News  to  England.  Tradition  variously  ascribes  it  to 
St.  Paul,  and  to  Joseph  of  Arimathea.  It  is  certain, 
however,  that  by  the  third  century  there  were  many 
converts  to  the  Faith  in  these  islands.  Rome  had 
already  martyred  Caecilia  (during  the  reign  of  Marcus 
Aurelius,  177  A.D.);  the  Emperor's  long  arm  was  now 

1  "  Et  hymno  dicto,  exierunt  in  montem  Oliveti,"    (Matt,  xxvi,  30.) 


The  Organ 

employed  to  check  the  growth  of  the  Church  in  England. 
Thus,  we  read  that  Constantine,  Governor  of  Britain 
early  in  the  fourth  century,  was  instructed  to  pull  down 
the  churches.  But  persecution  merely  purges  a  good 
cause,  and  the  spiritual  teaching  took  firm  and  lasting 

The  Organ,  whether  the  invention  of  Saint  Caecilia 
or  not,  made  its  appearance  during  the  second  century, 
its  immediate  predecessors  being   the  bag- 
pipes  and  pan-pipes.    These  primitive  organs 
had  a  species  of  keyboard  acting  upon  a  set  of  eight  or 
fifteen  pipes,  and  were  fitted  with  bellows  or  air-pumps.1 

It  is  unlikely  that  the  organ  was  employed  in  England 
until  the  seventh  or  eighth  centuries.  Aldhelm  (or 
Ealdhelm)  of  Malmsbury  speaks  of  "  listening  to  the 
greatest  organs  with  a  thousand  blasts,  the  ear  is 
soothed  by  the  windy  bellows,  while  the  rest  shines  in 
the  gilt  chests."2  Aldhelm  died  in  709;  but  before  his 
time,  mention  of  a  musical  instrument  called  "  organ" 
may  be  met  with  in  the  writings  of  Cassiodorus  and 
Fortunatus.  Wulstan  the  deacon  (A.  D.  963  obiit)  gives 
an  account  of  an  instrument  erected  at  Winchester, 
which  required  the  services  of  "seventy  strong  men 
labouring  with  their  arms  to  drive  the  wind  up  with 

1  Another  variety  known  as  the  Organum  hydraulicum,  invented  by 
Ctesibus  (circa  170  B.C.),  and  described  by  Hawkins  as  "an  instrument 
that  produced  music  by  the  compression  of  water  on  the  air,"  had  no 
doubt  been  long  in  existence. 

s  "  Maxima  millenis  auscultans  organa  flabris  Mulceat  auditum 
ventosis  follibus  iste  Quamlibet  auratis  fulgescant  caetera  capsis." 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

all  its  strength,  that  the  full-bosomed  box  may  speak 
with  its  four  hundred  pipes  which  the  hand  of  the 
organist  governs."  This  remarkable  organ  was 
governed  by  four  hands,  however,  for  the  deacon 
continues — "Two  brethren  [religious]  of  concordant 
spirit  sit  at  the  instrument,  and  each  manages  his  own 

Nor  was  the  organ  the  only  musical  instrument  which 
the  Anglo-Saxons  employed  during  worship.  "When," 
says  Wulstan,  "  the  choral  brethren  unite,  each  chaunts 
your  prayers  by  the  peculiar  art  whereof  he  is  master; 
the  sound  of  instruments  of  pulsation  is  mixed  with  the 
sharp  voices  of  reeds,  and  by  various  apparatus  the 
concert  proceeds  sweetly."  From  ancient  MSS.  it  is 
seen  that  the  horn,  trumpet,  flute,  and  harp,  and  a  four- 
stringed  lyre  were  among  the  instruments  in  popular 
use.2  The  earliest  Christian  compositions  of  which  we 
have  any  record  are  the  "  Hymns  and  Antiphons  of 
the  Office,"  which  may  be  attributed  to  the  end  of 
the  fourth  century.  St.  Ambrose  (333-397)  was  the 
principal,  if  not  the  only  composer,  and  some  ten  of  his 
melodies  are  still  extant.  Two  of  these  are  given  by 

1  Wackerbarth's  Music  of  the  Anglo- Saxons. 

2  "  In  the  MSS.  which  exhibit  David  and  three  musicians  playing 
together,  David  has  a  harp  of  eleven  strings,  which  he  holds  with  his 
left  hand  while  he  plays  with  his  right  fingers  ;  another  is  playing  on 
a  violin  or  guitar  of  four  strings  with  a  bow ;  another  blows  a  short 
trumpet,  supported  in  the  middle  by  a  pole,  while  another  blows  a 
curved  horn.      This  was  probably  the   representation  of  an  Anglo- 
Saxon  concert." — SHARON  TURNER,  iii.  p.  455. 



way  of  illustration.1  During  the  fourth  century  St. 
Sylvester  founded  a  Schola  Cantorum  at  Rome,  where 
boys  and  men  were  taught  to  render  the  church  hymns 
in  a  uniform  manner. 

Ae-ter  -  na  Christ!  mu  -  ne-ra      Et  mar-ty-rum  vie  -  to  -  ri  •  as 

Laudes  fe-ren-tes  de  -  bi-tas   Laetis  ca-na-musmen-ti-bus. 

Ae  •  ter  -  ne  rex  al  -  tis  -  si-me     Redemptor  et    fi  -  de  -  li-  um 

Quo  mors  so-lu  -  ta   de  •  pe  -  rit    Da-tur  triumphus  gra  •  ti  -  ae. 

Notation,  in  our  sense  of  the  word,  did  not  come  into 
existence  until  the  beginning  of  the  eleventh  century; 
but  crude  attempts  by  the  aid  of  neumatic  notation 
were  in  progress  about  555.  Into  the  Greek  musical 

1  "How  were  these  Ambrosian  hymns  handed  down?"  asks  Mr. 
Abdy  Williams.  "  We  hear  and  read  little  of  them,  for  the  Roman  or 
Gregorian  church  music  has  overshadowed  the  Ambrosian,  which  is 
practically  confined  to  Milan."  Following  Gevaert,  the  same  writer 
adds,  "After  his  (Ambrosius')  time,  composition  fell  into  the  hands  of 
priests  and  monks  and  inferior  poets,  who  continued  all  through  the 
Middle  Ages  to  compose  more  or  less  correct  Ambrosian  tunes." 
(Story  of  Notation^  pp.  42-43.) 

33  D 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

system,  which  is  said  to  have  had  a  vogue  of  about 
a  thousand  years,  it  is  not  necessary  to  go,1  beyond 
remarking  that  Boethius'  obsolete  theory  of  the  Greeks 
was  studied  by  the  monks  during  the  whole  of  the 
Middle  Ages. 

Towards  the  close  of  the  sixth  century,  Pope  Gregory 
(550-604)  formed  his  great  collection  of  church  hymns, 
designed  to  be  used  throughout  the  ecclesiastical  year. 
The  work,  which  is  practically  a  universal  antiphonary, 
was  probably  written  in  neumes,  and  is  still  a  canon  of 

the  Roman  Catholic  liturgy.     Gregory's  in- 
Neumes  ,  ~  ,   . 

terest  seems  to  have  been  first  aroused  in 

favour  of  England  by  the  sight  of  English  slaves 
exposed  for  sale  in  the  Roman  market.  In  597  his 
emissary,  St.  Augustine,  and  forty  monks  arrived  on 
English  soil.  "They  advanced  in  an  orderly  pro- 
cession, preceded  by  a  silver  cross  as  their  standard, 
and  carrying  also  a  painted  portrait  of  our  Saviour, 
and  chanting  their  litany  as  they  approached."2  We 
can  but  briefly  note  the  arrival  of  this  great  man,  and 
the  impulse  thus  given  to  ecclesiastical  music,  which 
was  now  and  hereafter  to  be  Gregorian.  Most  of  the 
history  of  succeeding  events  is  due  to  the  Venerable 
Bede.  From  him  we  learn  that  Theodore  and  Adrian 
introduced  ecclesiastical  chanting  first  into  Kent  in  the 
year  669.  A  few  years  later,  one  John  of  Rome  visited 
this  country,  bearing  the  Pope's  special  mandate  to 

1  The  reader  is  referred  to  Mr.  Abdy  Williams'  Story  of  Notation 
("Music  Story  Series"),  pp.  1-49,  where  this  matter  is  fully  discussed. 

2  Sharon  Turner,  iii.  339. 


Kyrie  Eleison 

impart  the  Roman  methods  of  church-singing1;  first  to 
the  particular  monastery  where   he  came,   and   after- 
wards to  the  rest  of  the  clergy.     It  is  said  that  under 
this    John's    successful    tuition,    ecclesiastical    singing 
became   a   popular   study   with   the   Anglo- 
Saxon  monks.     Another  famous  prelate  who 
bore  a  distinguished  part  in  advancing  the  music  of  the 
Church  was  Dunstan,  Abbot  of  Glastonbury:  one  who 


HERltiS    UTlllS    Ef  SaluBKiS; 

,,   i^P     ,  /' 

'  ,  /et/o7i.        cc^r 


\  irri  e  If-ifott 


/  /-K.,  /„/..,  -;,y^ 

le^fon  ref^  I  "" 

c..  «-  I 

/'    J1  - ..  •/ .  -,  I '" 

K  irrt    e^ 


FIG.   4.  —  KYRIE  BY  ST.   DUNSTAN. 

Example  of  the  neumatic  notation  of  the  "  Winchester  Troper."  The 
MS.,  dating  from  the  early  part  of  the  eleventh  century,  is  pre- 
served in  the  Library  of  Corpus  Christi  College,  Cambridge. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

could  sing  and  harp  with  any  minstrel.  It  is  singular 
that  his  should  be  the  very  period  when  the  monks  in 
France  were  to  be  found  quitting  the  cloister  for  the 
open-air  life  of  the  minstrel. 

"  Minstrels  and  monks  between  them,"  says  Stafford 
Smith,  "were  the  only  teachers  of  music  in  Europe  for 
some  centuries."  It  is  known  that  boys  were  admitted 
to  the  monasteries,  as  the  following  quotation  from  an 
account  of  their  employments  serves  to  show.  It  is 
put  in  catechetical  form : — 

"What  have  you  done  to-day?" 

"  Many  things.  When  I  heard  the  knell  I  rose  from  my  bed 
and  went  to  church  and  sang  the  song  for  before-day  with  the 
brethren,  and  afterwards  of  All  Saints,  and  at  the  dawn  of  day 
the  song  of  praise.  After  these,  I  said  the  first  and  seventh 
psalms,  with  litany  and  first  mass.  Afterwards,  before  noon, 
we  did  the  mass  for  the  day;  and  after  this,  at  mid-day,  we 
sang,  and  ate,  and  drank,  and  slept;  and  again  we  rose  and 
sang  the  noon,  and  now  we  are  here  before  thee,  ready  to  hear 
what  thou  shalt  say  to  us." 

"When  will  ye  sing  the  evening  or  the  night-song?" 

"  When  it  is  time." 

"  Wert  thou  flogged  to-day?" 

"  No." 

"  Where  do  you  sleep  ?" 

"  In  the  sleeping-room  with  the  brethren." 

"  Who  rouses  you  to  the  song  before  day?" 

"Sometimes  I  hear  the  knell  and  rise;  sometimes  my  master 
wakes  me  sternly  with  his  rod." 

In  these  schools,  the  origin  of  which  were  those  of 
Rome,  followed  in  after-times  by  those  of  Charlemagne, 


Monastic  Discipline 

the  elements  of  music,  theoretical  and  practical,  to- 
gether with  the  rudiments  of  grammar  and  poetry, 
were  systematically  studied.  The  importance  of  such 
work,  which  was  apparently  confined  to  a  few  of  the 
best  monasteries,  becomes  more  striking  if  the  general 
ignorance  of  the  clergy  is  considered.  In  the  time  of 
King  Alfred,  for  example,  "there  were  very  few,"  says 
that  monarch,  "who  could  understand  their  daily 
prayers  in  English,  or  translate  any  letter  from  the 
Latin."1  Alfred's  own  influence  tended  to  encourage 
a  widely  different  state  of  things.  The  monasteries  had 
suffered  not  only  from  the  depredations  of  the  Danes, 
but  also  at  the  hands  of  the  regular  clergy. 

The  discipline  of  the  early  Benedictines  had  soon 
given  way  to  more  easy-going  methods.  As  early  as 
747  the  Council  of  Cloveshoe  had  forbidden 
the  monks  to  admit  the  "sportive  arts; 
that  is,  of  poets,  harpers,  musicians,  and  buffoons."  In 
the  train  of  the  histriones  and  gleemen,  who  were  in 
the  habit  of  visiting  the  monasteries,  came  dice,  dancing, 
and  singing;  which  it  was  complained  were  indulged 
even  until  the  middle  of  the  night.  As  a  consequence, 
a  priest  was  forbidden  to  be  "an  eala-scop  or  an  ale- 
poet,  or  to  any  wise  gliwege,  or  play  the  gleeman  with 

1  Such  ignorance  still  prevailed  in  Henry  VIII. 's  day,  when  an  old 
priest  was  admonished  for  reading  (in  his  Portasse)  Mumpismus  Doming 
for  Sumpsimus.  He  protested  that  he  had  used  Mumpsimus  for  thirty 
years  and  would  not  leave  his  old  Mumpsimtts  for  their  new  Sumpsimus. 
Henry  VIII.  often  remarked  that  some  were  too  stiff  in  their  old 
mumpsimuS)  others  too  busy  and  curious  in  their  new  sumpsimus. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

himself  or  with  others."  Severe  as  such  measures 
might  appear,  severer  had  been  known  ;  for  in  Rome, 
during  the  fourth  century,  actors  and  mountebanks 
(descriptions  which  would  doubtless  include  the  secular 
musician)  were  excluded  from  the  benefits  of  the 
Christian  Sacraments,  while  excommunication  awaited 
those  who  so  much  as  visited  the  theatres  on  Sundays 
and  Holy-days.  Yet  in  spite  of  all  such  restraints 
a  Mima  acquired  so  much  celebrity  in  the  sixth  century 
that  she  was  raised  to  the  imperial  throne.  The  same 
ups  and  downs  attended  the  progress  of  Christian 
music  in  England.  At  the  time  of  the  Cloveshoe 
Council  it  was  in  a  flourishing  state,  just  as  was  the 
Church  itself.  Dunstan,  as  we  have  seen,  restored  it 
to  much  of  its  former  distinction ;  if  not,  indeed,  to  a 
more  important  position  than  before.  Finally,  the  old 
Benedictines  were  superseded  by  the  Cistercians  in  1 128, 
who  soon  established  some  thirty  monasteries,  and 
succeeded  in  placing  their  order  on  a  footing  that  no 
longer  admitted  of  interference  from  episcopal  authority. 
4 '  The  libraries  of  the  monasteries  were  full  of  romances," 
says  Warton,  "and  it  is  reasonable  to  suppose  that 
many  of  our  ancient  tales  in  verse  containing  fictitious 
adventures  were  written,  although  not  invented,  in 
the  religious  houses.  Minstrels  sometimes  assisted 
at  divine  service,  as  appears  from  the  record  of  the 
9th  of  Edward  IV.,  quoted  above  (page  107),  by  which 
Haliday  and  others  are  erected  into  a  perpetual  guild 
(Gild),  etc.  (See  the  original  in  Rymer,  xi.  642.)  By 
part  of  this  record  it  is  recited  to  be  their  duty  "to 


Early  Melodies 

pray  \exorare  ;  which  it  is  presumed  they  did  by  assisting 
in  the  chant  and  musical  accompaniment,  etc.]  in  the 
King's  chapel,  and  particularly  for  the  departed  souls 
of  the  king  and  queen  when  they  shall  die,"  etc. 

Some  of  them  dressed  in  a  clerical  manner,  with  the 
head  "rounded  tonster-wise  [tonsure-wise],  his  beard 
smugly  shaven." 

The  strict  clergy  discountenanced  these  men.  Their 
writings  abound  with  complaints  that  princes  and  nobles 
should  offer  them  so  much  encouragement.  Some  of 
the  monasteries  went  so  far  as  to  forbid  the  minstrels 
so  much  as  to  enter  their  gates.  This  is  in  curious 
contrast  to  the  proof  of  the  regard  which  the  order  was 
held  in  at  Beverley,  where  a  pillar  made  by  the  min- 
strels (in  St.  Mary's  Church)  bears  lasting  evidence  to 
this  better  condition  of  things.1 

It  would  be  absurd  to  suppose,  as  some  writers  have 
asserted,  that  "all  our  ancient  melodies  sprang  from 
descant,"2  which  can  hardly  be  said  to  have  originated 
until  the  early  part  of  the  eleventh  century ;  but  it  is 
certainly  reasonable  to  admit  an  interchange  of  ideas, 
secular  and  sacred,  the  analogy  for  which  is  seen  in  the 
poetry  preserved.  Unfortunately,  the  melodies  of  these 
times  are  too  scarce  to  allow  of  any  very  accurate  con- 
clusions being  formed.  It  is  not,  however,  unreason- 
able— though  we  cannot  trace  their  history — to  believe 
that,  in  addition  to  the  few  well-authenticated  pieces, 
many  an  old  scrap  of  music  must  have  been  handed 
down  and  incorporated  in  the  compositions  of  times 
1  See  Story  of  Notation,  p.  148.  2  Stafford  Smith. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

not  entirely  beyond  our  reach.  Having  shown  the 
relations  which  the  monks  and  minstrels  maintained 
towards  one  another — a  mutual  condition  which  finds 
its  culmination  in  the  founding  of  the  Minstrels'  Priory 
in  1102 — we  shall  turn  to  a  consideration  of  the  Trou- 
badours, who  come  into  prominence  during  the  eleventh 



Chivalry  and  Romance — Lais — Normandy — Troubadours — Joglars — 
Tournaments  —  Duke  Guinne  —  The  "gay  science"  —  Anselm 
Faiditt— Feats  of  agility. 

CHIVALRY  and  Romance  were  the  underlying  forces 
which  brought  about  the  birth  of  Provencal  song. 

Latin  had  longf  decayed.     Originally  the    ( 

c   J?  *      *  LI-  i_   j    u      4.u      Troubadours 

language   of  France,    established   by  the 

continual  residence  of  the  Romans,  it  became  corrupted 
by  Tudesque,  the  jargon  of  the  Franks  and  other 
Gothic  barbarians.  From  this  intermixture  of  tongues 
the  Romanse  rustique,  or  rustic  Latin,  resulted.  The 
most  ancient  of  the  French  songs  were  called  Lais. 
At  an  early  period  (eighth  century)  songs  were  widely 
employed  for  the  usual  purposes — the  celebration  of 
remarkable  events,  heroism,  and  the  marvellous  in 
history.  Charlemagne  got  by  heart  many  of  these 
ancient  and  barbarous  pieces,  which  he  assiduously 
collected.  The  "  Chanson  Roland"  is  in  French  rhyme. 
Normandy  took  the  lead  in  giving  a  fresh  impulse  to 
the  development  of  poetry  and  music  in  Europe,  which 
was  everywhere  awakening  to  the  period  of  activity 
created  by  the  Crusades.  But  if  Normandy  was  the 
first  in  the  field,  the  most  celebrated  songs  came  from 


Story   of  Minstrelsy 

Provence.  The  Troubadours  (called  also  Trouveres  in 
the  North  of  France)  were  the  inventors  or  originators 
of  the  poems  which  the  Chanteres  sang.  A  far  more 
numerous  though  altogether  inferior  class  was  that  of 
the  Jongleurs  (Joglars  or  Joculatores),  who  commonly 
acted  as  instrumental  accompanists,  though  they  could 
themselves  usually  both  sing  and  play.  The  three 
groups  of  men — which  together  formed  a  large  body 
that,  as  time  went  by,  could  boast  of  emperors,  kings, 
and  noblemen  amongst  their  numbers — were  classed 
generally  as  "  La  Jonglerie." 

"Dans  les  premiers  temps,"  says  Coussemaker,  "  les 
trouveres  chantaient  eux-memes  leurs  compositions,  en 
s'accompagnant  de  la  harpe,  de  la  viele,  ou  de  quelque 
autre  instrument.  Plus  tard,  ils  abandonnerent  ce  soin 
aux  jongleurs  et  aux  me"nestrels  pour  se  livrer  exclusive- 
ment  a  la  composition  de  la  poe^sie  et  de  la  musique."1 
The  correctness  of  this  view  is  proved  by  the  surviving 
compositions.  All  the  early  pieces  are  single  melodies, 
written  on  a  four-lined  stave  in  the  square  notation  of 
the  Church.  Whatever  accompaniment  was  added 
would  probably  be  extemporized.  A  glance  at  our 
chapter  on  Harmony2  will  serve  to  show  what  com- 
binations of  notes  were  being  used  in  these  early 
centuries.  It  is  difficult  to  understand  what  was  done 
with  the  bands  of  performers.  Did  they  play  in  two 
or  three  parts,  or  in  unison?  With  the  later  trou- 
badours, such  as  Adam  de  la  Hale  and  William  de 

1  L?Art  Harmonique  aux  XIP  et  XIII'  Sticks,  p.  180. 

2  Page  219. 



Machault,  there  is  more  definite  record  to  guide  us  in 
forming  an  opinion.  The  subject  is  more  fully  con- 
sidered under  the  chapter  on  Harmony,  where  a  three- 
part  rondel  by  Adam  de  la  Hale  is  quoted  by  way  of 

The  presence  of  the  troubadours  at  tournaments  and 
feasts  was  everywhere  welcomed,  and  they  were  great 
travellers,  going  from  court  to  court  at  home  and 
abroad.  Their  principal  theme  was  the  praise  of  an 
adored  mistress,  real  or  imaginary.  Lays  of  the 
Virgin,  tales  in  verse,  and  especially  the  achievements 
of  princely  patrons  and  sovereigns,  proved  further 
fruitful  sources  of  inspiration.  The  love-songs  were 
called  canzonets  or  chansons,  the  evening  song  was  a 
serenade^  and  the  day  song  aubade.  Roundelays  ended 
with  the  same  refrain.  Songs  in  praise  of  princes,  like 
those  extolling  or  decrying  any  public  event,  were 
termed  servantes.  The  dance-songs  were  also  numerous, 
especially  those  sung  and  played  to  the  round  dance. 
Quarrelsome  or  contentious  songs  were  known  as 
Tenzone,  while  the  Arcadian  or  idyllic  came  under  the 
general  description  pastourelle.  Many  of  the  earlier 
troubadours  accepted  no  reward  for  their  services, 
contenting  themselves  with  the  applause  of  fair  ladies. 
Princely  sums  and  estates  were  accepted  by  others. 
William,  Duke  of  Guinne,  who  died  in  1126,  joined  in 
the  first  Crusade.  Count  William  of  Poitiers  (1087- 
1127)  was  another  early  troubadour.  Numbers  of  their 
chansons  are  still  extant.  The  oldest  are  by  Chatelain 
de  Coucy,  an  example  of  which  we  quote.  Bertran  de 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Born  excelled  in  the  composition  of  servantes.  Helen, 
sister  of  Richard  Cceur  de  Lion,  was  praised  by  this 
troubadour.  Songs  by  the  King  of  Navarre  (circa 
1235)  are  quoted  by  Stafford  Smith,  Burney,  and 
Hawkins.  They  possess  a  definite  melodic  outline, 
but  they  are  highly  monotonous  to  modern  ears. 
Other  distinguished  members  of  this  brilliant  company 
were  Pierre  Rogier,  Bernart  de  Ventadour,  Thomas 
Erars  Coronee,  Jehan  Erars,  Gaces  Brulez,  Perrin 
Dangecort,  Thiebaut  de  Blason,  and  Messieurs  Tierres. 
Our  example  is  understood  to  be  of  the  end  of  the 
twelfth  century.  The  subject  of  the  poem  may  be  seen 
from  the  following  translation : — 

11  Spring's  new  beauties,  full  display'd 
In  all  their  splendour,  prompt  my  song; 
But  my  heart  a  lovely  maid, 
As  her  captive,  drags  along. 
In  such  deep  distress,  I'm  told, 
If  the  cause  of  all  my  pain 
Within  my  arms  I  once  enfold, 
Boundless  bliss  I  should  obtain." 


Chastelins  de  Couci  (12th  Century ). 

Le  nou-veau  terns  et  Mais  et    vi  -  o   -  let    - 
Et    mon  fin  cceurm'a  fait  d'tine  a-  mour  -  et     - 

te,  Les 
te    Un 

ro   -   sig  -  naux  me       mo-nent     de      chan  -    ter. 
doux     pre  -  sent  Que       je   n'ose     re    -    fu    -    ser. 




Or       me   Ton    dit    en       tel     en  -  nu  -  y  ment  Que     si      je 



ou    j'ai     cure    et     mon  pen  -  se      Ti  -  en  -  ne      u  - 


fois  en-tre  mes  bras  nud  te  Ains   re  -  jou  -  isse  outre  -  ment. 

Some  among"  their  number  achieved  fame  of  a  durable 
kind  as  musicians;  such  were  Raoul  de  Coucy,  King 
Thibaut  IV.  of  Navarre,  Adam  de  la  Hale,  and  Guil- 
laume  de  Machault.  Our  own  Richard  I.  was  a 
troubadour.  His  servant,  Blondel,  on  the  other  hand, 
was  a  minstrel  in  the  true  sense  of  the  word;  for,  as 
was  explained  at  the  outset,  the  original  meaning  of 
the  word  minstrel  applied  to  the  musicians  in  the 
service  of  the  troubadours.  Accepting  the  first  Crusade 
(in  1095)  as  the  starting-point  of  the  history  of  the 
troubadours,  little  more  than  a  hundred  and  thirty 
years  elapsed  before  the  beginning  of  their  decline. 
This,  however,  was  not  immediate,  for  as  late  as  1320 
a  troubadour  academy  was  founded  at  Toulouse.1  The 
movement,  though  it  declined  in  France,  lingered  on 
in  Spain  until  the  fifteenth  century.  A  fine  collection  of 
late  Spanish  Minstrelsy  issued  in  1890  by  the  Academy 

1  This  institution  was  named  "The  Seven  Maintainers  of  the  Gay 
Science,"  and  was  visited,  soon  after  its  formation,  by  Petrarch. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

of  Madrid  under  the  title  Cancionero  Musical  de  los 
Siglos,  XV.  and  XVI.,  shows  that  the  florid  contra- 
puntal accompaniments  of  Lopez  of  Mendoza  (1398- 
1458),  Enriquez,  and  several  anonymous  troubadours 
possess  remarkable  freedom  of  style,  fully  equalled, 
however,  if  not  excelled,  by  the  great  musicians  of  the 
period,  Dunstable,  Dufay,  and  Binchois,  and  by  the 

organists  Paumann  and  Hof- 
haymer.  It  is  curious  also  to 
note  that  the  "gay  science" 
was  taken  up  by  ladies  of 
the  first  rank,  who  not  only 
imitated  the  men  in  the  com- 
position of  verse,  but  they 
further  established  a  "Court 
of  Love,"  where  was  deter- 
mined any  question  of  gal- 
lantry which  might  arise  from 
the  delicate  code  of  honour 
practised  by  all  who  aspired 
to  the  ranks  of  chivalry. 
The  stones  of  these  times 
abound  in  the  marvellous.  Burney  gives  an  account 
of  a  celebrated  troubadour  named  Anselm  Faiditt, 
married  to  a  beautiful  nun,  who  followed  her  lord 
from  court  to  court,  singing"  his  songs  as  she  went. 
Many  of  the  troubadours  attended  their  patrons  through 
the  hardships  of  war;  and  as  a  whole,  the  reputation 
won  by  members  of  this  distinguished  class  of  men 
helped  not  a  little  to  place  the  arts  of  poetry  and  music 


(From  the  Cathedral  of  Aix-la- 

English  Joglars 

in  a  more  respectable  light  than  had  previously  been 
known  in  the  history  of  mankind. 

The  Italian  poetry,  which  arose  as  the  Provencal 
declined,  is  under  great  obligations  to  the  troubadours. 
Both  Boccaccio  and  Dante  studied  at  Paris,  and  were 
familiar  with  the  songs  of  Thibaut,  King  of  Navarre, 
Gaces  Brules,  Chatelain  de  Coucy,  and  others.  The 
latter  poet,  indeed,  is  said  to  be  directly  indebted  to 
Raoul  de  Houdane,  a  Provencal  bard  living  about  1180. 
Petrarch  is  further  understood  to  have  benefited  by  the 
works  of  Anselm  Fayditt  and  Arnaud  Daniel,1  "the 
most  eloquent  of  the  troubadours."  The  very  word 
"  sonnet"  came  to  Italy  by  way  of  Provence;  witness 
such  a  verse  as  the  following,  which  occurs  in  the 
Roman  de  la  Rose: — 

*'  Lais  d'amour  et  sonnets  courtois." 

The  Provencal  joglar  played,  sang,  and  recited,  as 
we  have  already  seen,  but  he  also  knew  something  of 
juggling  and  conjuring.  To  the  Bufos  was  relegated 
the  exhibition  of  learned  dogs  and  goats,  feats  of 
agility  and  strength,  in  conjunction  with  a  humble  dis- 
play of  the  common  strolling  minstrel's  art.  If  we 
compare  the  English  joglar,  his  character  appears 
more  akin  to  the  bufo  than  the  true  joglar;  and  when 
the  title  "  minstrel "  came  to  be  applied  to  him,  he  had 
become  a  veritable  mountebank.  Some  of  these  men, 
says  Du  Fresne  (art.  "  Ministelli "),  "  occasionally  per- 

1  Arnaud  Daniel  visited  Henry  IV.'s  court  in  England. 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

formed  feats  of  agility,  like  the  man  on  the  back  of  a 
horse,  who  danced  on  a  rope  in  the  air."  He  continues 
in  a  strain  which  would  have  been  the  admiration  of 
the  accurate  Ritson  and  the  despair  of  the  amiable 
Percy,  "  From  these  men,  in  fact,  sprang1  all  the 
varieties  of  poetical  and  musical  compositions,  whether 
they  comprised  truth  or  fiction,  invective  or  encomium, 
subjects  of  pity  or  terror,  reverence  or  detestation ;  and 
whether  they  were  conducted  in  an  uninterrupted  his- 
torical narration  and  sung  by  one  person,  or  broken 
into  a  number  of  parts  in  the  form  of  a  dialogue  and 
recited  or  sung  by  as  many  persons." 


The  Conquest— King's  Minstrel— Minstrel's  Priory— Ebor  the  Organ- 
builder — Rudel— Two-part  music— Pierre  de  Corbain. 

FROM  the  brief  sketch  given  of  the  Provencal  minstrel, 
it  may  be  inferred  that  his  English  confrere  could 
scarcely  vie  with  him  either  in  ability  or  magnificence. 
Indeed,  all  things  native  to  the  soil — especially  speech 
itself — were  held  in  some  contempt,  not  only  at 
the  time  of  the  Conquest  but  long  prior  to  it. 
"Even  before  the  Conquest,"  writes  Warton,  "the 
Saxon  language  began  to  fall  into  contempt, 
and  the  French,  or  Frankish,  to  be  substi- 
tuted  in  its  stead;  a  circumstance  which  at 
once  facilitated  and  foretold  the  Norman  accession.  In 
the  year  652  it  was  the  common  practice  of  the  Anglo- 
Saxons  to  send  their  youth  to  the  monasteries  of  France 
for  education;  and  not  only  the  language,  but  the 
manners  of  the  French  were  esteemed  the  most  polite 
accomplishments.  In  the  reign  of  Edward  the  Con- 
fessor, the  resort  of  Normans  to  the  English  court  was 
so  frequent  that  the  affectation  of  imitating  the 
Frankish  customs  became  almost  universal;  and  the 
nobility  were  ambitious  of  catching  the  Frankish 
idiom."  The  same  author  shrewdly  observes  that  "it 

49  E 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

was  no  difficult  task  for  the  Norman  lords  to  banish 
that  language  of  which  the  natives  began  to  be  absurdly 
ashamed."  In  the  eclipse  of  language  —  temporary 
though  it  was  —  no  wonder  that  native  music  went 
down  before  the  brilliant  and  successful  men  who  came 
to  this  country  in  the  train  of  the  Conqueror. 

The  Normans  had  cultivated  the  minstrel  art  before 
it  reached  Provence.  They  were  a  late  colony  from 
Norway  and  Denmark,1  and  in  the  time  of  Rollo  (778 
circa),  it  is  only  reasonable  to  suppose,  many  Scalds 
must  have  settled  in  their  midst.  Taillefer  is  always 
referred  to  as  a  troubadour,  and  it  is  quite  possible 
that  the  Provencal  troubadour  and  Norman  rymour 
were  already  in  constant  association.  During  the 
reign  of  William  the  Conqueror  one  little  fact  comes 
to  light  which  concerns  Minstrelsy  —  and  that  is,  the 
entry  in  the  great  Doomsday  Book  as  follows:  — 

Fol.  162,  Col.  i.    $rrfcw  gocnlxtox  Pffiis  habft  iii  fcillfts,  et 
ibi  v  rar.  nil 

We  thus  see  that  the  Joculator  Regis,  or  King's  Min- 
strel, had  house  and  land  assigned  him  in  Gloucester- 
shire. It  will  now  appear  that  such  records  as  we  have 
to  offer  relate  to  Norman  and  French  minstrelsy  rather 
than  to  native,  which  cannot  be  distinguished  again 
until  perhaps  the  middle  of  the  thirteenth  century,  when 
the  English  language  itself  was  struggling  into  birth. 

1  Percy's  Reliques. 

William  Rufus 

The  only  music  (apart  from  the  Church)  which  would 
receive  encouragement  during  William's  reign  would 
be  that  of  the  Conqueror's  own  minstrels.  Our  own 
gleemen  sang  in  a  tongue  foreign  to  the  Court,  while 
many  of  the  Saxon  nobles  had,  as  we  have  shown,  for 
years  been  cultivating  French  arts  and  manners,  in 
addition  to  the  language  itself.  "In  the  first  ages," 
according  to  Dr.  Percy,  "  after  the  Conquest  no  other 
songs  would  be  listened  to  by  the  great  nobility  but 
such  as  were  composed  in  their  own  Norman  French ; 
yet  as  the  great  mass  of  the  original  inhabitants  were 
not  extirpated,  these  could  only  understand  their  own 
native  gleemen  or  minstrels,  who  must  still  be  allowed 
to  exist  unless  it  can  be  proved  that  they  were  all  pro- 
scribed and  massacred,  as  it  is  said  the  Welsh  were 
afterwards  by  the  severe  policy  of  Edward  I."1  The 
learned  essayist  mentions  The  Horn  Child,  an  old 
metrical  romance,  in  support  of  his  contention.  This, 
it  appears,  is  a  translation  of  an  older  French  poem,2 
of  which  the  following  couplet  is  a  fair  specimen: — 

"Home  sett  hi  abenche,  his  harpe  he  gan  clenche; 
He  made  Rymenild  a  lay  and  he  seide  weilaway." 

William  II.'s  reign  does  not  furnish  any  incident  of 
importance  to  our  subject ;  but  early  in  that  of  his  suc- 
cessor an  exceptional  event  occurs  which  may  be 
noticed:  this  was  the  foundation  of  the  Priory  and 

1  A  popular  error. 

3  Sir  F.  Madden  regards  the  English  as  the  original  and  the 
translation  French* 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Hospital  of  St.  Bartholomew,  by  Royer  (Raherus)  the 
King's  Minstrel,  in  the  third  year  of  the  reign  of 
„  Henry  I.  (1102).  The  priory — a  religious 

establishment  which  in  those  times  ranked 
second  to  an  abbey — was  situate  in  Smithfield,  London 
— a  spot  afterwards  to  become  famous  for  its  fairs  and 
executions,  and,  finally,  its  markets. 

Stow  mentions  "Rahere"  as  a  pleasant,  witty  gentle- 
man, a  description  which  is  supplemented  by  Dugdale, 
who  says  that  this  Rahere  (or  Royer)  "was  born  of 
mean  parentage,  and  that  when  he  attained  to  the 
flower  of  his  youth  he  frequented  the  houses  of  the 
nobles  and  princes;  but  not  content  herewith,  would 
often  repair  to  the  court  and  spend  the  whole  day  in 
sights,  banquets,  and  other  trifles,  where  by  sport  and 
flattery  he  would  wheedle  the  hearts  of  the  great  lords 
to  him,  and  sometimes  would  thrust  himself  into  the 
presence  of  the  king,  where  he  would  be  very  officious 
to  obtain  his  royal  favour ;  and  that  by  these  artifices 
he  gained  the  manor  of  Aiot  in  Hertfordshire,  with 
which  he  endowed  his  hospital.  He  is  said  to  have 
been  a  great  musician,  and  Hawkins  adds  that  he  kept 
a  company  of  minstrels — i.e.,  fiddlers,  who  played  with 
silver  bows.  A  well-preserved  monument  of  this  in- 
teresting personage  is  still  to  be  seen  in  the  Church  of 
St.  Bartholomew,  Smithfield.  Henry  I.  was  a  great 
builder  of  castles  and  churches.  The  Saxon  Chronicle 
notes  that  "every  one  built  a  castle  who  was  able." 
Before  the  death  of  Stephen  eleven  hundred  and  fifteen 
might  be  counted.  Some  of  the  churches  of  this  reign 


Thomas  &  Becket 

may  be  added,  including  Rochester  (1077),  Hereford 
(1079),  Gloucester  (1088),  Chichester  (1091),  Norwich, 
Durham  (1093),  Peterborough  (1107),  and  Oxford  (1120) 
Cathedrals.  Portions  of  Ely,  Exeter,  Winchester,  and 
Canterbury  Cathedrals  are  also  of  this  period. 

The  wife  of  Henry  I.  ("Good  Queen  Maud")  did 
much  to  encourage  the  founding  of  monasteries ; 
indeed,  so  many  labourers  became  bricklayers  and  car- 
penters, for  this  precise  purpose,  that  great  discontent 
was  occasioned.  A  piece  of  extraordinary  barbarity 
is  attributed  to  Henry  I.,  who  had  suffered  some  annoy- 
ance at  the  hands  of  a  Norman  minstrel  named  Luke 
de  Barre.  The  minstrel's  fault  is  stated  by  the  king 
himself.  "  Luke  de  Barre,"  said  he,  "has  never  done 
me  homage,  but  he  has  fought  against  me.  He  has 
composed  facetiously  indecent  songs  upon  me ;  he  has 
sung  them  openly  to  my  prejudice,  and  often  raised 
the  horse-laughs  of  my  malignant  enemies  against 
me."  The  horrible  punishment  thereupon  meted  out 
to  this  luckless  minstrel  was  that  of  having  his  eyes 
torn  out.  When  freed  from  his  torturers,  Luke  de 
Barre  finished  their  ghastly  work  himself — by  dashing 
his  brains  against  the  wall. 

Fitzstephen  gives  an  account  of  Thomas  a  Becket's 
journey  to  Paris,  to  conduct  negotiations  for  the  mar- 
riage of  Henry  II. 's  daughter  to  Louis  VII.  The 
great  English  prelate  entered  the  French  towns  "pre- 
ceded by  250  boys,  on  foot,  in  groups  of  six,  ten,  or 
more  together,  singing  English  songs,  according  to 
the  custom  of  their  country/' 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Thomas,  the  first  Archbishop  of  York  after  the 
Conquest,  devoted  much  of  his  time  to  "  making 
organs  and  in  teaching  his  clergy  to  make  them,  and 
to  set  hymns  both  in  prose  and  verse  to  music." 
William  of  Malmesbury  states  that  this  prelate  adapted 
any  secular  tune  which  pleased  him  to  ecclesiastical 
use,  making  what  alterations  appeared  necessary.1  It 
seems  as  if  the  Church  at  this  time  was  endeavouring 
to  keep  pace  with  secular  music,  and  we  find  John 
of  Salisbury  complaining  that  the  church-singers 
"endeavour  to  melt  the  hearts  of  the  admiring 
multitude  with  their  effeminate  notes  and  quavers, 
and  with  a  certain  wanton  luxuriancy  of  voice." 

A  famous  Provencal  troubadour,  Jeffrey  Rudel, 
flourished  about  1161.  It  is  related  of  this  impetuous 
minstrel  that  one  fine  day  in  the  company  of  Geoffrey, 
brother  of  Richard  I.,  he  heard  (from  pilgrims  return- 
ing from  Palestine)  of  a  certain  celebrated  and  beautiful 
countess  of  Tripoli.  So  greatly  did  the  charms  of  the 
lady  work  upon  the  imagination  of  the  susceptible 
Jeffrey  that  he  forthwith  made  a  pilgrimage  to  the 
shrine  of  his  living  saint.  But  the  slow  progress  of 
the  ship  did  not  suit  the  lover's  ardour.  He  became 
deadly  sick,  and  ere  he  could  land  was  well-nigh  dead. 
The  countess,  much  affected  by  a  recital  of  the  story  of 
his  coming,  hastened  on  board.  The  poet  at  her  touch 
awakened,  and  regarding  her  with  affection,  assured 

1  "  If  he  heard  any  of  the  secular  minstrels  sing  a  tune  which  pleased 
him,  he  adopted  and  formed  it  for  the  use  of  the  Church,  by  some 
necessary  variations." 


Hoppe  Wylikin 

her  that  his  object  was  accomplished  and  that  he  could 
die  in  peace,  having  seen  her  wondrous  beauty.  "  He 
died  of  love,"  say  the  chroniclers,  and  the  lady  seems 
to  have  been  of  the  same  opinion,  for  she  erected  a 
splendid  tomb  of  porphyry,  bearing  an  Arabic  inscrip- 
tion, and  herself  took  the  veil.  One  of  Rudel's  poems, 
written  (it  is  said  by  Rymer1)  during  his  romantic 
voyage,  is  still  extant. 

Warton  mentions  "a  splendid  carousal  after  the 
manner  of  the  Normans,"  given  by  a  Welsh  prince  in 
1176.  Rhees  ap  Gryffyth,  King  of  South  Wales,  gave 
this  great  feast  on  the  occasion  of  Christmas.  It  was 
proclaimed  throughout  all  Britain.  Every  poet  in 
Wales  attended.  Contests  were  arranged  for  the 
bards,  with  "  great  rewards  and  rich  gifts  for  the 
overcomers."  Just  about  this  time  occurred  an  incident 
concerning  which  there  remain  a  few  verses,  that  in 
the  scantiness  of  available  material  become  correspond- 
ingly valuable.  Robert,  Earl  of  Leicester,  after  the 
spoiling  of  his  town,  got  together  an  army  of  Flemings 
and  Normans  from  over  the  seas.  With  this  rabble 
he  made  a  descent  upon  the  coast,  and  marched  towards 
Bury  St.  Edmund's.  On  the  way  a  halt  was  called, 
and  the  gallants  spent  the  time  in  dancing  on  the  heath 
and  singing  in  anticipation  of  their  easy  victory  (as 
they  befooled  themselves  into  imagining): — 

"  Hoppe  Wylikin,  hoppe  Wyllykin, 
Ingland  is  thyne  and  myne." 

1  Short  View,  p.  71. 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

But  while  engaged  in  this  idle  pastime  the  king's 
army  fell  upon  them,  and  those  who  were  not  killed 
or  drowned  were  made  prisoners.  Another  poetic 
effusion,  equally  short,  may  further  be  cited  as  belong- 
ing to  the  time  of  Henry  II.  Hugh  Bigood,  Earl  of 
Norfolk,  was  wont  to  boast  of  the  impregnable  strength 
of  his  castle  of  Bungey,  as  follows : — 

"  Here  I  in  my  castle  of  Bungey, 
Upon  the  river  of  Waveney, 
I  would  ne  care  for  the  king  of  Cockeney." 

The  boast  was  nevertheless  a  vain  one,  and  the  owner 
of  the  castle  had  to  pay  Henry  II.  a  heavy  sum  to 
save  his  vaunted  stronghold  from  destruction.  These 
two  rhymes,  according  to  Ritson,  are  the  earliest 
specimens  of  the  English  language,  not  being  pure 
Saxon.  An  interesting  item  is  preserved  of  the  year 
1 1 80,  when  Jeffrey  the  harper  received  a  corrody  or 
annuity  from  the  Benedictine  Abbey  of  Hide,  near 
Winchester,  "on  condition,"  says  Warton,  "that  he 
should  serve  the  monks  in  the  profession  of  a  harper 
on  public  occasions."  The  abbeys  of  Conway  and 
Stratflur  in  Wales  respectively  maintained  a  bard;  and 
the  Welsh  monasteries  in  general  were  the  grand  re- 
positories of  the  poetry  of  the  British  bards.  Percy 
goes  further,  and  discovers  that  the  corrody  or  annuity 
was  for  his  music  and  his  songs.  He  further  concludes 
that  the  songs,  to  be  of  any  entertainment  to  our 
English  monks,  would  be  in  the  vernacular.  An 
amusing  story  is  told  by  Wood  of  two  itinerant  priests 


Unfortunate  Monks 

coming  one  evening-  to  a  Benedictine  retreat  near 
Oxford.  Supposing  them  to  have  been  mimes,  or 
minstrels,  the  cellarer,  sacrist,  and  others  of 
the  brethren  welcomed  them  in  their  midst,  *  *  I224 
expecting  to  derive  some  substantial  entertainment  by 
their  pesticulatoriis  ludierisque  artibus.  But  when  the 
wanderers  were  discovered  to  be  nothing  more  than 
two  poor  ecclesiastics,  they  were  turned  adrift  into  the 
night  without  ceremony,  and  given  a  good  whipping 
into  the  bargain. 

A  famous  passage  from  Giraldus  Cambrensis  applies 
to  the  vulgar  music  of  the  time  of  Henry  II.,  as 
follows: — "  In  general  there  is  not  the  least  uniformity 
in  musical  modulation.  Every  man  sings  his  own 
song,  and  in  a  crowd  of  singers,  as  is  the  custom 
here,  so  many  songs  and  various  voices  will  you  hear. 
In  the  northern  parts  of  Britain,  beyond  the  Humber 
and  on  the  borders  of  Yorkshire,  the  people  there 
inhabiting  make  use  of  a  kind  of  symphoniac  harmony 
in  singing,  but  with  only  two  differences  or  varieties  of 
tones  or  voices.  In  this  kind  of  modulation  one  person 
sings  the  under  part  in  a  low  voice,  while  another  sings 
the  upper  in  a  voice  equally  soft  and  pleasing.  This 
they  do,  not  so  much  by  heart  as  by  a  habit,  which 
long  practice  has  rendered  almost  natural ;  and  this 
method  of  singing  is  become  so  prevalent  amongst 
these  people,1  that  hardly  any  melody  is  accustomed 

1  Fitzstephen,  a  monk  of  Canterbury,  writing  about  1160,  mentions, 
among  the  sports  and  pastimes  of  the  day,  that  the  maidens  were  fond 
of  dancing  by  moonlight.  He  further  observes  that  "after  dinner,  all 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

to  be  uttered  simply,  or  otherwise  than  variously,  or 

in  this   twofold   manner."     The  question  of  harmony 

being  employed  in  some  crude  form  is  thus 

armony      decjded>       Tne    eariier    troubadours    wrote 

down  their  melodies  (in  the  old  square  notes  used  by 
the  Church),  but  do  not  seem  to  have  indicated  the 
accompaniments,  which  were  in  all  probability  added 
extempore.  That  harmony  existed  long  before  the 
period  of  which  we  are  writing  will  be  seen  in  a  separate 
chapter.  The  later  troubadours,  such  as  Adam  de  la 
Hdle  and  Guillaume  de  Macchault,  practised  harmony  in 
three  or  four  parts.  Two-part  music  was  written  down 
in  England  during  the  tenth  century ;  but  whether  by 
monks  or  minstrels  there  is  no  evidence  to  show.  We 
find  one  Pierre  de  Corbain,  a  troubadour  of  this  period, 
or  perhaps  a  little  later,  boasting  that  he  is  skilled  in 
the  plain  chant,  in  singing  to  the  lute,  in  making 
canzonets  and  pastorals  and  in  dancing — so  the  art  of 
the  monk  and  minstrel  could  not  have  admitted  of  any 
precise  demarcation. 

the  young  men  of  the  city  go  out  into  the  fields  to  play  football." 
Miracle-plays  are  also  mentioned. 


Richard  I.  and  Blondel — Durrenstein  Castle — A  king's  ransom  — 
Talbot — A  love-song — Chester  Fair — Magna  Charta — A  soothsayer 
and  minstrel — "  Sumer  is  icumen  in" — Middle  Ages — Last  of 
the  Crusades — Fabled  massacre  of  Welsh  bards — Minstrels  and 

"  King  Richard  is  the  beste 
That  is  found  in  any  geste." 

RICHARD  I.,  himself  a  troubadour  of  notable  skill,  was 
also  a  magnificent  patron  of  the  minstrels,  many  of 
whom  he  invited  over  from  France.  The  names  of 
three  of  the  most  celebrated  have  come  down  to  us. 
There  was  Fouquet  of  Marseilles,  a  poet,  musician,  and 
singer  of  singular  personal  attraction,  a  favoured  guest 
at  the  courts  of  Richard,  and  of  Raymond  Count  of 
Thoulouse,  and  Beral  de  Baulx.  Fouquet  closed  a 
remarkable  career  as  minstrel  by  becoming  "absolved 
of  the  sin  of  poetry"  and  entering  a  monastery,  where 
his  religious  progress  in  course  of  time  led  to  his  being 
created  Archbishop  of  Thoulouse.  Anselme  Fayditt 
also  had  a  distinguished  career.  Many  of  his  poems 
still  survive,  and  not  the  least  esteemed  is  that  portion 
of  his  work  which  Petrarch  borrowed  for  his  Triumfo 
di  Amore,  and  duly  acknowledged  in  a  panegyric.  The 
third  of  Richard's  French  minstrels  was  Blondel  de 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Nesle,  of  widely  popular  fame  due  to  the  romance  of 
the  following1  anecdote  : — Richard  I.  returning1  from  the 
disastrous  Crusade  of  1193,  found  himself  suddenly 
taken  prisoner  by  Leopold,  Duke  of  Austria,  whose 
enmity  he  had  incurred  during  a  former  Crusade,  and  by 
whom  he  was  cast  into  the  dungeon  of  the  castle 
Diirrenstein,  near  Vienna.  "A  whole  year  elapsed," 
says  Fauchet,  "before  the  English  knew  where  their 
monarch  was  imprisoned.  Blondel  de  Nesle,  Richard's 
favourite  minstrel,  resolved  to  find  out  his  master;  and 
after  travelling  many  days  without  success,  at  last 
came  to  the  castle  where  Richard  lay  confined.  Here 
he  discovered  the  name  of  the  castle  and  its  owner,  also 
that  it  held  a  royal  captive.  Suspecting  that  the 
prisoner  was  none  other  than  his  master,  he  found 
opportunity  to  approach  beneath  the  window  of  the 
king's  chamber.  Here  he  began  to  sing  a  French 
chanson,  which  Richard  and  Blondel  had  formerly 
written  together.  When  the  song  reached  the  king's 
hearing,  he  instantly  guessed  who  was  the  singer;  and 
as  the  minstrel  paused  at  the  first  half  of  the  chanson, 
Richard  took  it  up  and  finished  it.  Then  were  the 
minstrel's  suspicions  confirmed.  He  returned  at  once 
to  England,  and  informed  the  king's  barons  of  the 
place  of  their  sovereign's  confinement.  By  this  means 
Richard  was  soon  released."  Much  doubt  has  been 
cast  on  this  story,  which,  however,  has  taken  firm 
hold  upon  the  popular  imagination.  It  is  confirmed  in 
several  details  by  history;  and  some  writers  go  so  far  as 
to  claim  that  the  actual  verses  sung  by  Blondel  can  be 



produced.     Percy  (following  Burney)  offers  the  follow- 
ing lines  in  this  connection: — 


Donna  vostra  beutas  Your  beauty,  lady  fair, 

Elas  bellas  faissos  None  views  without  delight; 

Els  bels  oils  amoros  But  still  so  cold  an  air 

Els  gens  cors  ben  taillats  No  passion  can  excite; 

Don  sieu  empresenats  Yet  this  I  patient  see 

De  vostra  amor  que  mi  lia  While  all  are  shunrtd  like  me. 


Si  bel  trop  affansia  No  nymph  my  heart  can  wound 

Ja  de  vos  non  portrai  If  favour  she  divide, 

Que  major  honorai  And  smiles  on  all  around 

Sol  en  votre  deman  Unwilling  to  decide; 

Que  sautra  des  beisan  Pd  rather  hatred  bear 

Tot  can  de  vos  volria.  Then  love  with  others  share) 

It  is  known  that  Richard  whiled  away  a  part  of  the 
time  he  was  in  captivity  by  composing  songs,  a  speci- 
men of  which  may  be  seen  in  Ellis's  History  of  the 
Troubadours.  The  ransom  demanded  was  100,000 
marks  of  pure  silver,  a  sum  which  caused  widespread 
distress  in  the  raising.  The  plate  of  the  churches  and 
monasteries  was  taken  to  convert  into  marks ;  the 
Cistercians,  lacking  plate,  surrendered  their  wool ; 

1  Another  song  credited  to  the  same  occasion  is  given  in  The 
Story  of  British  Music  (Crowest),  p.  221,  beginning— "Fierce  in  me 
the  fever  burning,"  where  it  is  quoted  from  Fauchet's  Recueil  de 
Porigine  de  la  Langtie  et  Poesie  Frarifoise. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

besides  which  the  clergy  and  laity  were  forced  to 
contribute  a  fourth  part  of  their  yearly  incomes,  and 
every  knight  had  to  provide  at  least  twenty  shillings.1 

The  reign  of  Richard  I.  affords  another  story  which 
illustrates  the  chivalrous  opportunities  of  those  times. 
The  young  heiress  of  D'Evreux  Earl  of  Salisbury,  had 
been  conveyed  in  secret  to  France,  where  she  was  kept 
in  hiding  by  her  Norman  relatives.  A  certain  knight 
named  Talbot  took  up  the.  quest  of  her  discovery  and 
restoration  to  her  English  friends.  For  full  two  years 
he  pursued  his  search  ;  first  in  the  guise  of  a  pilgrim, 
afterwards  in  the  character  of  a  harper.  His  skill  in 
the  romance  stories  and  "  gests  of  the  ancients,"  as 
they  were  termed,  gained  him  an  easy  access  to  the 
lady's  household,  when  once  he  had  discovered  it.  He 
then  availed  himself  of  the  opportunity  to  carry  off  the 
missing  heiress,  whom  he  afterwards  succeeded  in 
bestowing  in  marriage  on  his  natural  brother,  William 
Longspec  (son  of  "Fair  Rosamond"),  who  afterwards, 
by  virtue  of  his  marriage,  became  Earl  of  Salisbury. 

Throughout  Richard's  reign  the  minstrelsy  of  England 
and  France  was  drawn  closer  together,  and  the  adven- 
tures, characters,  and  stones  which  figure  in  the 
literature  of  the  two  countries  were  for  the  time  being 

1  English  Chronicle^  1483,  St.  Alban's  (Caxton):— "  And  afterwarde 
he  was  delyverd  for  an  huge  raunson,  that  is  for  to  say  an  hudred 
thousande  pounde.  And  for  the  whyche  rauson  to  be  paid,  eche  other 
chalyce  of  Englonde  was  molten  and  made  into  money.  And  alle  the 
monkes  of  the  ordre  of  the  Cisteaux  [the  Cistercians]  gave  all  ther  boks 
thrugh  out  all  Englond,  for  to  doo  them  to  sell  and  the  raunson  for  to 

Blow  Northerne  Wynd 

so  much  common  property.  France,  with  her  splendid 
castles  and  gorgeous  barons,  her  schools  of  chivalry 
and  highly-trained  minstrels,  led  the  way;  and  our 
earliest  romances  prove  that  England  was  no  tardy 
follower  in  the  paths  of  poetry  thus  newly  opened  up  to 

If  Warton  is  right  in  assuming  the  following  little 
love-song  to  be  of  M  before  or  about  the  year  1200,"  he 
goes  far  to  prove  that  English  was  then  beginning  to 
assert  itself  as  an  individual  language. 

Blow  northerne  wynd,  send  Thou  me  my  swetynge;  blow 

Northerne  wynd,  blou,  blou,  blou.  Ich  wot  a  burde  in  bowre  bryht 

That  fully  semly  is  on  sight,  Menskful  [graceful]  maiden  of 
Faire  and  free  to  fonde,  &C.1  might, 

A  curious  tale  of  the  minstrels  frequenting  Chester 
Fair  comes  down  to  us  from  the  time  of  King  John 
(1212).     Hugh,  first  Earl  of  Chester,  in  his 
charter  of  the  foundation  of  St.  Werburg's  * 

Abbey,  had  granted  an  exemption  from 
arrest  to  all  who  attended  the  city  fair,  providing  they 
committed  no  crime  during  fair-time.  It  so  fell  out 
that  Randle  Blundevil,  sixth  Earl  of  Chester,  was 
closely  besieged  by  the  Welsh,  who  forced  him  to  fall 
back  on  his  Castle  of  Rothelent  (Rhuydland),  in  Flint- 
shire. A  message  was  thence  despatched  to  Roger 
Lacy,  Constable  of  Chester,  commanding  him  to  come 

1  This  song  is  contained  in  the  Harleian  MSS.  2253,  which  Ritson, 
who  quotes  the  song  in  its  entirety  (Ancient  Songs,  p.  26),  dates  as  of 
the  time  of  Edward  II. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

with  all  speed  to  the  earl's  relief.  This  despatch 
reached  Randle  in  the  midst  of  fair-time,  and  he  be- 
thought him  to  increase  his  slender  forces  by  recruiting 
from  the  miscellaneous  attendants  which  the  fair  had 
gathered  together.  "Roger,"  says  Sir  Peter  Leycester's 
Historical  Antiquities,  "  having  got  together  a  tumul- 
tuous rout  of  fiddlers,  players,  cobblers,  debauched 
persons,  both  men  and  women  out  of  the  city,  marched 
immediately  towards  the  earl."  This  proved  too  much 
for  the  Welsh,  who  perceiving,  as  they  thought,  a  great 
army  advancing  upon  them,  incontinently  turned  and 
fled,  without  waiting  for  a  nearer  view  of  the  harmless 
rabble.  For  this  singular  piece  of  service,  the  earl 
granted  to  constable  De  Lacy  a  charter  of  patronage 
and  authority  "  over  all  the  fiddlers  and  shoemakers 
in  Chester."  The  constable  kept  to  himself  the 
44  authority  and  donation  of  the  shoemakers,"  con- 
ferring on  his  steward  power  over  the  fiddlers  and 
players.  Ritson  makes  merry  with  this  story,1  and 
quotes  Dr.  Percy's  definition  of  the  minstrels — "an 
order  of  men  who  subsisted  by  the  arts  of  poetry  and 
music,  and  sang  to  the  harp  verses  composed  by  them- 
selves " — picturing  them  as  "most  miserably  twanging 
and  scraping  in  the  booths  of  Chester  Fair."  What- 
ever the  class  to  which  these  men  belonged,  certain  it  is 
that  the  charter  was  duly  executed,  and  held  good  for 
many  a  long  year,  as  may  be  seen  from  Blount's 
Ancient  Tenures  (1679),  wrhere  it  is  mentioned  that 
Lawrence  Dutton,  in  the  fourteenth  year  of  Henry  VII., 
1  Ancient  Songs,  p.  vi. 


Normans  and  Britons 

claimed  that  all  minstrels  in  the  County  and  City  of 
Chester  should  appear  before  him  annually  on  the  feast 
of  St.  John  Baptist,  when  each  had  to  contribute 
four  flagons  of  wine,  one  lance,  together  with  the  sum 
of  fourpence-halfpenny.  It  appears  also  that  these 
minstrels  had  to  play  on  their  instruments  as  Lord 
Button,  or  his  steward,  attended  divine  service  on  the 
first  day  of  the  fair.  Licences  were  also  granted  to  the 
minstrels  on  the  same  occasion,  which  carried  privileges 
by  which  these  vagrant  performers  were  unmolested,  at 
a  time  when  the  minstrels  in  other  parts  of  the  country 
were  being  punished  as  "  rogues,  vagabonds,  and 
sturdy  beggars."  Thus,  the  exploit  of  the  Chester 
minstrel-rabble  was  of  some  benefit  to  their  successors, 
in  the  exercise  of  their  humble  calling. 

"  England,"  says  Macaulay,  '* which  since  the  Battle 
of  Hastings  had  been  ruled  generally  by  wise  statesmen, 
always  by  brave  soldiers,  fell  under  the 
dominion  of  a  trifler  and  a  coward.  From 
that  moment  her  prospects  brightened.  John  was 
driven  from  Normandy.  The  Norman  nobles  were 
compelled  to  make  their  election  between  the  island 
and  the  continent.  Shut  up  by  the  sea  with  the  people 
whom  they  had  hitherto  oppressed  and  despised,  they 
gradually  came  to  regard  England  as  their  country, 
and  the  English  as  their  countrymen.  The  two  races, 
so  long  hostile,  soon  found  that  they  had  common 
interests  and  common  enemies.  Both  were  alike 
aggrieved  by  the  tyranny  of  a  bad  king.  Both  were 
alike  indignant  at  the  favour  shown  by  the  court  to  the 

65  F 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

natives  of  Poitou  and  Aquitaine.  The  great  grandsons 
of  those  who  had  fought  under  William  and  the  great 
grandsons  of  those  who  had  fought  under  Harold  began 
to  draw  near  to  each  other  in  friendship ;  and  the  first 
pledge  of  their  reconciliation  was  the  Great  Charter, 
won  by  their  united  exertions,  and  framed  for  their 
common  benefit."  (History  of  'England ',  chap,  i.) 

One  John  of  Raumpayne  (of  this  same  reign)  became 
celebrated  as  "a  sothsayer,  jocular,  and  minstrelle." 
The  age  seems  to  have  encouraged  superstitious  arts, 
and  even  Roger  Bacon  lent  his  name  to  the  mysteries 
and  secrets  of  the  alchemist  and  the  philosopher's  two 
stones.  Raumpayne's  services  were  wanted  in  the 
cause  of  a  quarrel  which  had  thus  originated.  One 
day,  at  a  game  of  chess,  Sir  Fulco  Guarine  so  incensed 
the  Prince  of  Wales  (afterwards  King  John)  that  the 
latter,  in  the  words  of  the  chronicler,  "brake  Fulco's 
head  with  the  chest  borde."  After  this  polite  intimation 
that  the  royal  loser  was  wroth  with  his  opponent,  Sir 
Fulco  returned  the  blow  with  such  interest  that  it  had 
almost  occasioned  a  change  in  the  succession  of  English 
sovereigns,  for  (as  the  chronicle  saith)  "he  had  almost 
killid  hym."  The  scene  of  the  quarrel  then  changed  to 
Whitington  Castle  (Shropshire),  which  together  with  its 
original  heiress  had  been  won  in  open  tournament  by 
Sir  Fulco's  ancestor.  After  the  accession  of  King  John, 
this  castle  was  seized  by  the  Prince  of  Wales,  who  placed 
in  possession  his  retainer,  one  Morice.  An  appeal  of 
the  Guarines  to  the  king  was  treated  with  contempt, 
so  they  fled  into  Bretagne  for  a  space.  Anon  returning 



to  the  recovery  of  their  castle,  they  set  John  of  Raum- 
payne,  the  minstrel  above-named,  as  a  spy  upon  Morice, 
the  usurper  of  their  rights.  The  minstrel  contrived 
that  they  should  lie  in  wait  for  Morice,  whom  they 
succeeded  in  wounding;  while  a  knight  named  Sir 
Bracy  went  so  far  as  "to  cut  off  Morice's  hedde,"  an 
act  of  intrepidity  which  soon  afterwards  led  to  his  arrest. 
The  vengeance  of  the  king  was  averted  by  the  occult 
aid  of  Raumpayne;  for  "he  founde  the  meanes  to  cast 
them  that  kepte  Bracy  into  a  deadly  slepe;  and  so," 
concludes  our  chronicle,  "he  and  Bracy  cam  to  Fulco 
at  Whitington,"  which,  now  that  Morice  was  got  rid 
of,  was  allowed  to  return  to  the  rightful  owner. 

Musicians  have  been  much  puzzled  by  the  wonderful 
perfection  of  the  work  "  Sumer  is  icumen  in,"  as 
compared  with  existing  examples  of  the 
same  period.  Many  such  another  com-  .  k  Imef  l* 
position  must  have  been  conceived  ere  this  1C 
could  be  set  down;  for  masterpieces  are  never  produced 
without  calling  into  existence  a  series  of  efforts  leading 
up  to  the  crowning  work.  The  fine  air  and  large  degree 
of  contrapuntal  mastery  which  this  "six-men's  song" 
contains  cannot  therefore  be  regarded  as  accidental, 
and  it  is  not  unreasonable  to  believe  that  "it  must  have 
been  preceded  by  hundreds  of  similar  compositions,  or 
it  could  not  have  reached  so  high  a  degree  of  develop- 
ment."1 Ritson,  "our  great  poetical  antiquary  in  this 
sort  of  thing,"  was  the  first  to  fix  upon  the  thirteenth 
century  as  the  true  date  of  the  MS.  containing  this 
1  Story  of  Notation  (Abdy  Williams),  p.  112. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

A  Six  MEN'S  SONG.* 




Su-mer  is       i    -  cu-men  in, Lhude    sing  cue -cu, 

Per-spi-ce  Christ- i  -  co-la que  dig-na-ci  -   o 



PI — I N- 

Groweth  sed  and  bloweth  med  and  springeth  the  wood  now,  Sing  cu- 
Ce  -  li  -  cus    a  -  gri  -co  -  la  Pro    vi  -  tis  vi  -  ci   -    o,      Fi  -  li  • 

*  j 

cu.        Awe    ble-teth  af-terlomb,lowethaf-tercal-ve     cu. 
o      Non  parcens  ex  •  po  -  su  -  it    Mor-tis    ex-i  -  ci  •  o. 

Bulluc  sterteth,  buck-e  verteth,  Me-rie  sing  cue  -  cu.     Cue  -  cu, 
Qui  cap-ti  -  vos    se-me-vi-vos    Asup-pli-ci  -   o.        Vi  -  te 

cue  -  cu,     Wei  sin-ges  thu   cuc-cu  ne  swik  thu  ne-ver    nu. 
do  -  nat      Et    se-cumcor  -  o  -  nat  in      ce  -  li  so-li  -    o. 


^b   i.  J-.  ] 

I  j  —  .  9-  —  p—— 

=  r-   r-  —  H 

H-H  *-=  —  «-=  
Sing    cue     - 

cu,        nu          sing    cue 

|T  ...    [P.  r 

-H  '  H 


Sing    cue     - 

cu,                     sing    cue 

1  See  Frontispiece. 

-     cu         nu. 

An  Ancient  Song 

piece,  which  Hawkins,  Burney,  and  Warton  regarded  as 
of  two  centuries  later,  and  in  regard  to  which  Wanley 
hesitated  to  fix  any  date."1 

Ritson  remarks — "This  curious  piece,  which  was  for 
long  thought  to  be  the  most  ancient  English  song, 
with  or  without  the  musical  notes,  any  where  extant,"  is 
preserved  in  a  manuscript  of  the  Harleian  Library  in 
the  Museum  (No.  978).  It  has  been  already  published 
by  Sir  John  Hawkins,  in  his  very  instructive  and  enter- 
taining History  of  Music ^  vol.  ii.  p.  93 ;  and  on  page  96  of 
the  same  volume  it  is  reduced  into  the  scale  of  modern 
composition.  The  ingenious  author  remarks  that  Mr. 
Wanley  has  not  ventured  precisely  to  ascertain  the 
antiquity  of  this  venerably  musical  relic,  but  adds  the 
following  observation  will  go  near  to  fix  it  ^  ... , 
about  the  middle  of  the  fifteenth  century  ;  R  '  ' 

a  conjecture  in  which  he  is  doubtless  greatly 
mistaken,  as  the  MS.  is  evidently  of  much  higher 
antiquity,  and  may  with  the  utmost  probability  be 
referred  to  as  early  a  period  (at  least)  as  the  year  1250. 
So  good  a  judge  of  ancient  MSS.  as  Mr.  Wanley  was 
could  never  have  been  restrained  by  fear,  from  giving 
his  opinion  of  their  age;  that  consideration,  however, 

1  In  Naumann's  History  of  Music •,  vol.  i.  p.  221  (Cassell),  there  is 
the  following  egregious  blunder: — "It  has  been  reserved  for  Mr. 
William  Chappell  to  prove  the  real  antiquity  of  this  celebrated 
composition."  Coussemaker  makes  an  equally  mistaken  note  in 
DArt  Harmomque,  p.  72  (Paris,  1865).  His  words  are — "  M. 
William  Chappell  a  demontre,  dans  son  savant  ouvrage  sur  les  chants 
populaires  de  1'Angleterre,  que  1'ecriture  de  la  partie  du  manuscrit  qui 
contient  ce  canon  est  du  xiiie  siecle." 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

might    have    had    its   weight    both  with   the    learned 
historian  and  those  who  have  adopted  his  opinion."1 

Under  the  words  here  given  are  those  of  a  Latin 
hymn,  to  which  Sir  John  Hawkins,  on  the  authority  of 
Du  Cange,  thinks  the  term  rota  alone  refers,  an  opinion 
for  which  there  does  not  appear  sufficient  reason  ;  the 
word  implying  no  more  than  our  round.  And,  hence, 
perhaps  a  passage  in  Shakespeare  may  receive  some 
illustration.  In  Hamlet^  Ophelia,  speaking  of  a 
ballad  of  the  false  steward  who  stole  his  master's 
daughter,  exclaims — 

"  O  how  the  wheel  becomes  it," 

evidently  meaning  the  burden  or  return  of  the  stanza. 

A  rote  was  likewise  an  ancient  musical  instrument,  as 
we  may  learn  from  Chaucer — 

"  Wei  coude  he  sing  and  playen  on  a  rote? 

The  thirteenth  century  is  admittedly  "one  of  the  most 
memorable  in  the  history  of  mankind,"  and  he  who 
would  understand  the  Middle  Ages  must  make  it  his 
especial  study,  as  one  of  the  landmarks  between  the 
ancient  and  modern  world.  With  the  larger  issues  of 
such  an  age  we  are  not  concerned.  But  music,  it  must 
be  allowed,  invariably  reflects  the  spirit  of  the  time ;  and 
though  it  may  not  be  possible  to  trace  the  influence  of 
direct  events — such  as  the  first  meeting  of  an  English 
Parliament  (1265),  the  creation  of  a  first  Poet  Laureate, 

1  Dr.  Burney  and  T.  Warton. 

Last  Crusade 

or  the  conquest  of  Wales  (1283) — whatever  tended  to 
give  a  quickened  impulse  to  the  life  of  the  people  would 
contribute  no  less  powerfully  to  the  gradual  awakening 
of  music,  in  common  with  the  whole  of  the  arts.  To 
the  minstrel  of  the  meanest  orders  opportunities  were 
there  in  abundance,  for,  as  most  of  the  trade  of  the 
country  was  transacted  at  public  fairs,  song  and  dance 
were  in  constant  requisition.  English  was  gradually 
emerging  into  currency,  as  the  song  in  praise  of  the 
cuckoo  (just  considered)  well  shows.  Yet  in  the  revival 
of  learning  Latin  held  a  foremost  place,  as  even  the 
current  musical  treatises  sufficiently  prove.  The  court 
poet,  "  Master  Henry  the  Versifier,"  was  a  Frenchman 
named  Henry  de  Avranches,  who  in  1251  received  one 
hundred  shillings,  which  Warton  supposes  to  have  been 
for  the  year's  stipend.  There  is  mention  also  of  a 
harper  at  the  court  of  Henry  III.,  who  is  stated  to  have 
received  forty  shillings  and  a  pipe  of  wine,  an  additional 
pipe  of  the  same  commodity  being  given  to  the  harper's 
wife.  The  writer  mentioned  exclaims,  "But  why  this 
gratuity  of  a  pipe  of  wine  should  also  be  made  to  his 
wife,  as  well  as  to  the  husband,  who  from  his  profession 
was  a  genial  character,  appears  problematical  accord- 
ing to  our  present  ideas." 

In  the  last  of  the  Crusades,  Prince  Edward  (after- 
wards   Edward   I.)  was  accompanied   by  a  harper,  or 
minstrel,  of  whom  a  curiously  brief  glimpse      .  _ 
is  obtained  in  the  following  anecdote: — The 
prince,  after  his  temporary  occupation  of  Nazareth,  had 
fallen  back  on  Acre.     An  attempt  was  then  made  by  the 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Emir  of  Jaffa  to  assassinate  him.  As  a  letter  was  handed 
to  the  prince,  the  emir's  messenger  drew  a  sudden 
dagger  and  aimed  a  blow  at  his  heart.  The  royal 
crusader  was  sufficiently  alert  to  ward  off  the  blow  and 
strike  down  his  assailant,  whom  he  quickly  despatched. 
Attracted  by  the  noise  of  the  scuffle,  out  rushed  the 
prince's  harper,  who,  with  a  valiance  which  vied  with 
Falstaff  s  of  a  later  day,  beat  out  the  brains  of  the 
already  defunct  assassin  with  a  tripod.1  For  this  piece 
of  useless  service  the  prince  administered  a  severe 

The  fabled  massacre  of  the  Welsh  bards  is,  as  is  well 

known,    a   poetical  injustice  to  Edward   I.'s  memory. 

Fierce  and    relentless    he   certainly  was   in 

"Ruin  seize  battlej  and    thoge  Qjf  the    Cymric  minstrels 

i  f-'  "  w^°  tempted  the  arbitrament  of  war  would 
meet  with  scant  mercy.  History,  however, 
offers  no  hint  of  anything  more  than  what  may  be  termed 
fair  and  free  fight.  The  massacre  of  the  bards  is  bad 
history,  and  Gray's  fine  ode  exists  in  spite  of  it.2 

At  the  marriage  of  two  of  Queen  Eleanor's 
daughters,  during  the  year  1290,  the  minstrels  were 
present  in  great  force.  The  first  ceremony  (that  of 
Joan  Acre)  brought  together  the  English  and  Scottish 
"  kings  of  the  minstrels,"  Gray  and  Caupenny,  and  the 
chief  harper  of  the  Mareschal  of  Champagne,  together 

1  "Apprehendit  unus  eorum  tripodem,  scilicet  Cithareda  Suus,  et 
percussit  eum  in  capita,  et  effundit  cerebrum  ejus." 

2  Gray  is  understood  to  have  drawn  his  material  from  Carte's  History ', 
who  in  his  turn  had  been  misled  by  Sir  John  Wynn's  memoirs. 



with  their  trains.  At  the  second  nuptial-feast  (that  of 
Margaret)  there  were  present  no  less  than  426  minstrels, 
some  of  whom  are  stated  to  have  been  English. 
Amongst  this  goodly  number  of  musicians,  the  king's 
harper,  Walter  de  Storton,  distributed  £100  (equiva- 
lent to  not  less  than  ^1,500  in  modern  currency),  gift 
of  the  bridegroom. 

Towards  the  close  of  Edward  I.'s  reign  a  still  more 
important  concourse  of  minstrels  is  to  be  noted.  The 
company  was  summoned  by  proclamation, 
the  occasion  being  the  Prince  of  Wales  A  Kn!*£tf* 
undergoing  the  ordeal  of  knighthood.  On 
the  eve  of  the  Feast  of  Pentecost  (May  22,  1306)  some 
270  noble  youths  assembled  at  Westminster,  with  their 
pages  and  retinue,  to  watch  through  the  night,  in 
accordance  with  the  rules  of  chivalry  —  some  in  the 
Temple  Church,  others  in  the  Gardens,  and  the  prince 
himself  with  a  favoured  few  at  Westminster  Abbey, 
where  the  final  ceremony  took  place  in  the  morning. 
Then  a  great  feast  was  held,  where  were  served  two 
swans,  covered  with  nets  of  gold,  and  brought  to  table 
by  the  minstrels.  Nor  must  we  forget  to  add  that,  in 
conformity  with  the  highest  traditions  of  chivalry,  the 
prince  took  a  solemn  vow  —  namely,  to  avenge  the 
death  of  Comyn,  and  to  punish  the  Scottish  rebels. 
Some  of  the  names  of  the  minstrels  are  recorded  as 
follows:  —  Le  Roy  Champaigne,  Caupenny,  Boisecue, 
Marchis,  and  Le  Roy  Robert,  each  of  whom  received 
the  equivalent  of  ^50  of  our  money,  while  one  Le  Roy 
Druet  got  no  more  than  £30.  These  were  the  chiefs, 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

but  mention  is  made  of  many  others,  such  as  Robert 
de  Colecestria,  John  de  Salopia,  and  Robert  de 
Scardeburghe.  The  Bishop  of  Durham  and  the  Abbot 
of  Abyndon  brought  their  harpers;  while  such  names 
as  these  represent  the  rank  and  file: — Guillaume  sans 
Maniere,  Reginald  le  Menteur,  Makejoye,  Perle  in 
the  Eghe,  Northfolke,  Haleford,  Carletone,  Adam  de 
Werintone,  Grimmeshawe,  Fayrfax,  Merlin,  with  others 
too  numerous  to  give.  The  total  expended  on  this 
assemblage  of  minstrels  was  equal  to  ^3000  of  our 

Minstrels  now  appear  to  have  been  treated  much  the 
same  as  heralds.  King-at-arms  and  the  king  of  the 
minstrels  were  regular  officers,  receiving  similar  salaries 
at  home  and  abroad;1  and  mention  of  one  King  Robert, 
a  minstrel,  occurs  in  this  reign.  During  that  of 
Edward  II.,  William  de  Morlee  (Roy  de  North) 
received  a  grant  of  some  houses  which  had  previously 
belonged  to  John  le  Boteler,  another  king  of  the 
minstrels.  In  1387,  Richard  II.  granted  permission  to 
travel  abroad,  and  introductory  letters,  to  John  Caumz, 
also  a  king  of  minstrelsy.  This  view  is  proved  to  be 

1  In  France  and  Germany  there  were  the  Rex  Juglatorum^  Roy  des 
Violins  >  and  Roy  des  Menestriers.  As  early  as  1321  the  Menestriers  of 
France  became  a  regular  corporation,  comprising  thirty-seven  jongleurs 
and  jongleresses.  The  head,  and  afterwards  the  whole  body,  took  the 
title  oiRoi  des  menetriers.  They  founded  the  Hospital  of  St.  Julien  in 
1331.  Admission  by  examination  was  instituted  in  1407,  to  the  exclusion 
of  mere  mountebanks  and  tumblers.  The  order  lingered  on  until  the 
second  half  of  the  seventeenth  century,  and  in  its  latter  days  included 
the  famous  twenty-four  violons  of  Louis  XIV. 



correct  by  Froissart's  Chronicles^  where  we  read — 
"The  same  day  th'  Erie  of  Foix  gave  to  heralds  and 
minstrels  the  sum  of  five  hundred  francs ;  and  gave  to 
the  Duke  of  Tourayn's  minstrels  gowns  of  cloth  of  gold 
furred  with  ermin,  valued  at  two  hundred  francs."  The 
origin  of  the  Masques  may  be  referred  to  this  reign; 
while  the  polished  manners  and  extravagance  which 
they  encouraged  found  a  climax  in  Henry  VIII.'s  reign, 
and  an  anti-climax  with  the  Stuarts.  Many  things  now 
conduced  to  stimulate  the  love  of  display:  French 
manners,  dress,  and  furniture  were  being  rapidly 
imported;  commercial  intercourse  with  India  was  re- 
established. The  time  was  thus  ripe  for  the  Masque. 



Monks  and  Minstrels — Pentecost — Proclamations — Robin  Hood — 
"Ensi  va" — Piers  Plowman— Morris  Dance— Gests — Ritson's 
MS. — Theorists — Tutbury  Court — Henry  V. — Agincourt — Lydgate 
— Minstrels'  pay — Nowell — "Row  the  boat,  Norman" — Miracle- 
plays —  Musicians'  charter — Waites — Music-printing — Sir  John 
Howard— -"Chevy  Chase"  and  "John  Dory." 

THE  intercourse  with  the  monks  which  the  minstrels 
enjoyed  is  much  insisted  upon  by  Warton  in  his 
History  of  Poetry.  It  is  well  known  that  most  of 
the  monasteries  had  become  more  or  less  influenced  by 
the  invasion  or  wholesale  importation  of  French  ecclesi- 
astics ;  although,  while  allowing  for  such  a  fact,  a  large 
number  of  English  monks  must  still  have  remained  at 
their  posts.  What  influence  such  men  might  have  in 
providing  a  sympathetic  audience  for  the  small  minority 
of  English  minstrels  still  in  existence  can  only  be  con- 
jectured. "The  monks,"  says  our  authority,  "who 
very  naturally  sought  all  opportunities  of  amusement  in 
their  retired  and  confined  situations,  were  fond  of 
admitting  the  minstrels  to  their  festivals;  and  were 
hence  familiarized  to  romantic  stones."  At 
'  I3°9  the  feast  of  the  installation  of  Ralph,  Abbot 
of  St.  Augustin's,  Canterbury,  harpers  and  singers 
were  engaged  to  assist  in  entertaining  the  6000  guests 

Trial  by  Fire 

present  at  the  Abbey  Hall — the  sum  of  seventy  shillings 
being  mentioned  as  payment  made.  An  unusual  item 
of  information  is  given  in  connection  with  the  Bishop 
of  Winchester's  visit  to  St.  Swithin's  Priory  (in  1338), 
when  the  "Song  of  Colbrond "  was  sung  by  one 
Herbert,  a  minstrel,  who  further  recited  (or  sung)  the 
"Tale  of  Queen  Emma  delivered  from  the  Trial  by  Fire." 
So  rarely  does  such  information  occur,  that  the  entry  in 
the  priory  register  deserves  attention: — "Et  cantabar 
Joculator  quidam  nomine  Herebertus  Canticum 
Colbrondi,  necnon  Gestum  Emme  regine  a  judicio  ignis 
liberate  in  aula  prioris." 

In  a  poem  of  about  1312,  Adam  Davie  has  the 
following  distich : — 

"  Merry  it  is  in  halle  to  here  the  harpe, 
The  Minstrelles  synge,  the  Jogelours  carpe." 

A  remarkable  anecdote  is  given  by  Stow  (in  his 
Survey  of  London,  1633),  who  states  that  when 
Edward  II.  this  year  (1316)  did  solemnize  the  Feast  of 
Pentecost  at  Westminster,  in  the  great  hall,  whilst 
sitting  at  table  in  royal  state,  with  his  peers  about  him, 
there  entered  a  woman  habited  like  a  minstrel,  riding  a 
great  horse  trapped  as  minstrels  use.  Riding  about 
the  tables  "showing  pastime,"  she  at  length  approached 
the  king  and  presented  a  letter;  then  turning  her  horse 
about,  she  saluted  the  company  and  retired.  The 
contents  of  this  letter  formed  a  remonstrance  against 
the  king's  favouring  his  minions  to  the  neglect  of  his 
knights  and  faithful  servants.  Upon  its  nature  be- 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

coming  known,  the  king1  rebuked  the  doorkeepers, 
who  promptly  replied  that  minstrels  w.ere  always 
admitted,  especially  during  high  solemnities  and  feast- 
days.  The  story  has  been  ridiculed  by  Ritson,  who 
assumes  that  the  lady  appeared  in  the  character  of  a 
tumbler  or  tomblestere.  There  is,  however,  some 
ground  for  believing  that  women  sometimes  entered 
the  minstrel  profession.  In  private  many  ladies  could 
harp  and  sing,  as  is  well  seen  from  the  numerous 
references  made  by  Chaucer  to  their  accomplishments 
in  this  direction.  If  others  did  not  exist  in  a  public 
capacity,  it  seems  difficult  to  explain  the  existence  of 
such  words  as  the  following,  quoted  by  Du  Cange: — 
Gligmeden  (glee-maiden),  Jengleresse,  Joculatrix,  Mini- 
stralissa,  Femina  Ministerialis,  etc. 

Proclamations,  or  royal  edicts,  were  only  effectual  in 

as  far  as  they  were  supported  by  existing  law;    and 

though  a  later  king  (Henry  VIII.)  sought 

roc  ama-    tQ   ^VQ   them   the  virtue  of  Parliamentary 

T?j  j  TT  acts,  and  for  a  time  succeeded,  such  virtue 
iL  award  11* 

was  eventually  categorically  denied  in  the 
presence  of  James  I.  Proclamations  concerning  the 
minstrels  appear  to  have  been  invariably  repressive. 
As  an  example,  witness  the  following  which  was  put 
forth  in  1316  by  Edward  II. : — 

"  EDWARD  by  the  grace  of  God, ...  to  Sheriffes  .  .  .  greeting. 
Forasmuch  as  many  idle  persons,  under  colour  of  Minstrelsie, 
and  going  in  messages  and  other  feigned  business,  have  been 
and  yet  be  received  in  other  men's  houses  to  meat  and  drink, 
and  be  not  therewith  contented  if  they  be  not  largely  considered 


Minstrels  of  Honour 

with  gifts  of  the  lords  of  the  houses.  .  .  .  We  willing  to  re- 
strain such  outrageous  enterprises  and  idleness,  have  ordained 
that  to  the  houses  of  prelates,  earls,  and  barons,  none  resort  to 
meat  and  drink,  unless  he  be  a  minstrel ;  and  of  these  minstrels 
that  there  come  none,  except  it  be  three  or  four  minstrels  of 
honour,  at  the  most  in  one  day,  unless  he  be  desired  by  the 
lord  of  the  house.  And  to  the  houses  of  meaner  men  that  none 
come— unless  he  be  desired;  and  that  such  as  shall  so  come, 
hold  themselves  contented  with  meat  and  drink,  and  with  such 
courtesy  as  the  master  of  the  house  will  show  unto  them  of  his 
own  goodwill,  without  their  asking  of  anything.  And  if  any 
one  do  against  this  Ordinance,  at  the  first  time  he  is  to  lose  his 
Minstrelsy,  and  at  the  second  time  to  forswear  his  craft,  and 
never  to  be  received  for  a  minstrel  in  any  house.  .  .  .  Given 
at  Langley,  the  vi.  day  of  August,  in  the  ix.  year  of  our  reign." 

The  abuses  which  this  edict  was  intended  to  put 
down  were  real  enough.  That  it  did  not  succeed  is 
more  than  probable,  for  the  same  class  of  offence  con- 
stantly crops  up  in  the  records  of  the  minstrels.  A  few 
further  proclamations  of  this  class  will  be  found  later  in 
these  pages.1 

The  proclamation  just  referred  to  would  scarcely 
affect  the  best  class  of  minstrels,  who  were  sufficiently 
distinguished  by  the  phrase  "minstrels  of  honour" 
which  it  contains.  Such  a  view  is  supported  by  a 
passage  in  Stowe,  referring  to  a  gathering  of  minstrels 
on  the  Sunday  before  Candlemas  1377,  when  an  enter- 
tainment was  provided  by  the  young  aristocracy  for 
the  amusement  of  Prince  Richard,  son  of  the  Black 
Prince.  The  passage  is  as  follows: — 

1  See  Edward  IV.  and  Queen  Elizabeth. 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

"  On  the  Sunday  before  Candlemas,  in  the  night,  one  hundred 
and  thirty  citizens,  disguised  and  well  horsed,  in  a  Mummery, 
with  sound  of  trumpets,  sackbuts,  cornets,  shalmes,  and  other 
minstrels,  and  innumerable  torchlights  of  waxe,  rode  from 
Newgate  through  Cheape,  over  the  Bridge  through  Southwarke, 
and  so  to  Kennington  besides  Lambeth,  where  the  young 
Prince  remained  with  his  mother,  and  the  Duke  of  Lancaster, 
his  uncle,  the  Earles  of  Cambridge,  Hertford,  Warwicke,  and 
Suffolke,  with  divers  other  lords."1 

Historians  of  the  period  recorded  even  the  laughter 
of  kings.  Thus,  in  a  roll  of  some  private  expenses  of 
Edward  II.  there  is  an  entry  relating  to  a  payment  of 
fifty  shillings  to  a  person  who  danced  on  the  table  be- 
fore the  king.  The  chronicler  adds,  "  Et  lui  fist  tres- 
grandement  rire."  Of  another,  who  rode  (and  often 
fell  from)  his  horse,  a  circumstance  that  caused  his 
majesty  to  laugh  heartily  ("de  quex  roi  rya  grante- 
ment"),  it  is  related  that  the  tumbler  was  awarded 
twenty  shillings — no  small  pay  for  such  a  performance. 

Robin  Hood  appears  to  have  flourished  about  this 
period,  for  in  1324  a  person  named  "  Robyn  Hode"  re- 
ceived wages  as  one  of  nineteen  persons  in  the  service 
of  Edward  II.  If  we  are  to  believe  the  ballads,  he  was 
pardoned  and  taken  into  the  king's  household,  as  "vad- 
let"  or  porter  of  the  chamber.  It  seems  likely  that  the 
hero  of  the  greenwood  flourished  about  the  time  named, 
since  the  Court  Rolls  of  the  Manor  of  Wakefield  show 
that  before  the  rebellion  of  Earl  Lancaster  a  person  of 
no  small  distinction  bearing  this  name  lived  at  Wake- 

1  Stow's  Survey  of  London,  p.  148,  ed.  1618, 

Lytel  Geste 

field,  not  far  from  Barnsdale.  The  interested  reader 
is  referred  to  Ritson's  Robin  Hood  Garland;  or  if  he 
prefer  the  ballad-story  itself,  to  Wynken  de  Worde's 
"Lytel  Geste." 

Edward  III.'s  long  reign  (1327-57)  does  not  help  us 
much  with  our  story,  though  some  useful  details  con- 
cerning music — directly  or  indirectly — will  be  chronicled. 
The  music  of  the  king's  band  was  supplied  by  "5 
trompetters,  i  cyteler,  5  pypers,  i  tabrete,  i  mabrer, 
2  clarions,  i  fedeler,  and  3  wayghtes."  A  song  pre- 
served in  the  Bodleian  Library,  Oxford,  is  of  this  reign ; 
but,  unfortunately  for  our  purpose,  it  is  of  French 
origin.  It  is  taken  from  an  epic  poem,  copied  (it  is 
understood)  at  Bruges,  the  date  being  1338. 

Date  of  MS.  1338. 


fr-fi    Q     ^.^ 


En  -  si   va 

qu     a-mours 




son  com-mant.  A      qui  que 

soil  do  -lours, 


en  -  si  va  qui    a  -  mours,        As    mau-vais 

est  Ian  -  gours  nos  biens,  mais  non  por-quant 

En  -  si  va  qui  a-mours    demaine  a  son  commant. 

81  G 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

The  author  of  Piers  Plowman,  Robert  (or  William) 
Langland,  priest  and  fellow  of  Oriel  College,  Oxford, 
flourished  about  this  period.  His  references  to  min- 
strelsy1 are  more  curious  than  illuminative: — 

"  Not  to  fare  as  a  fideler,  or  frier  to  seke  feastes, 
Homely  at  other  mens  houses,  and  haten  their  own. 

And  myrth  and  minstrelsy  amongst  men  is  nought. 

And  gladder  than  the  gleman  that  golde  hath  to  gyfte." 
The  priests  are  described  as — 

"  Chief  chanteurs  at  the  nale." 

The  alehouses,  more  respectable  in  olden  days  than 
now,  were  places  of  common  resort  for  the  poets  and 
musicians  of  those  early  times: — 

"  And  then  saten  some  and  songe  at  the  nale." 

Chaucer,  who  was  born  either  in  1328  or  1340 
(authorities  are  conflicting),  is  considered  in  another 
chapter;  so  here  we  pass  him  by.  An  act  of  supreme 
importance  in  history — though  not  directly  concerning 
music — was  that  of  1362,  which  provided  that  "all 
pleas  in  the  court  of  the  king,  or  of  any  other  lord, 
shall  be  pleaded  and  adjudged  in  the  English  tongue." 
Jousts,  tournaments,  dances,  and  carols,  says  an  old 

1  Langland  writes  of  himself: — 

"  Ich  can  nat  tabre,  ne  trompe,  ne  telle  faire  gestes 
Ne  fithelyn,  at  festes,  ne  harpen; 
Japen  ne  jagelyn,  ne  gentilliche  pipe; 
Nother  sailen,  ne  sautrien,  ne  singe  with  the  giterne." 

A  Cheshire  Dance 

chronicle,  were  the  recreations  of  the  court.  It  appears, 
too,  there  is  some  ground  for  believing  the  Morris 
Dance  to  have  been  first  introduced  during  Edward  III.'s 
reign.  The  dance  was  of  Moorish  origin,  and  came 
to  be  associated  with  the  English  May  games,  and 
afterwards  formed  a  part  of  all  the  common  pageants. 
In  Cheshire  the  following  tune  is  still  danced: — 

Mor-ris  dance  is   a      ve  -  ry  pret-ty  tune ;         I  can  dance  in 


i  '  ' 

—  i  r 

"  i    r 







•"  *  J  —  LJ-J- 

J  —  P  — 


my  new  shoon  :  My  new  shoon  they  are  so  good ;      I  could  dance  it 




if    I  would.    This  is     it  and  that  is    it,  And  this  is  Mor-ris 

hi  —  1 


dancing.  My  poor  father  broke  his  leg,  And  so  it  was  achancing. 

It  is  not  to  be  supposed  that  this  Cheshire  tune  is 
anything  more  than  a  late  survival  of  the  old  dance 
which  John  of  Gaunt  is  said  to  have  introduced  to  the 
court  of  Edward  III.  In  its  earliest  form  the  Morris 
was  danced  in  fancy  dress,  with  bells  round  the  ankles, 
knees,  or  wrists,  accompanied  with  much  stamping  and 
knocking  of  heels,  which  (it  is  said)  was  found  to  give 
the  dancers  the  gout.  In  the  pageants,  a  hobbyhorse, 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

a  dragon  with  whifflers,  and  marshals  formed  part  of 
the  Morris  troupe.  Its  popularity  was  at  its  height  in 
Henry  VIII. 's  day,  and  though  revived  at  the  Restora- 
tion, it  never  regained  its  ancient  prestige.  Shake- 
speare wrote  the  epitaph  of  at  least  a  part  of  such  shows 
in  the  line — 

"  For  O,  for  O,  the  hobbyhorse  is  forgot." 

"  I  take  this  opportunity  of  remarking,"  says  Warton, 
"that  the  'minstrels,'  who  in  this  prologue  of  Nas- 
syngton  are  named  separately  from  the 
'gestours,'  or  tale-tellers,  were  sometimes 
distinguished  from  the  harpers.  In  the  year  1374  six 
minstrels,  accompanied  with  four  harpers,  on  the 
anniversary  of  Alwyne  the  Bishop,  performed  their 
minstrelsies,  at  dinner,  in  the  hall  of  the  convent  of 
St.  Swithin,  at  Winchester;  and  during  supper  sung 
the  same  '  gest,'  or  tale,  in  the  great  arched  chamber 
of  the  prior;  on  which  solemn  occasion  the  said  chamber 
was  hung  with  the  arras,  or  tapestry,  of  the  '  Three 
Kings  of  Cologne.'  These  minstrels  and  harpers 
belonged  partly  to  the  royal  household  in  Winchester 
Castle,  and  partly  to  the  Bishop  of  Winchester.  There 
was  an  annual  mass  at  the  shrine  or  tomb  of  Bishop 
Alwyne  in  the  church,  which  was  regularly  followed 
by  a  feast  in  the  convent.  It  is  probable  that  the 
'  gest '  here  specified  was  some  poetical  legend  of  the 
prelate  to  whose  memory  this  yearly  festival  was  in- 
stituted, and  who  was  a  Saxon  Bishop  of  Winchester 
about  the  year  1040.  Although  songs  of  chivalry  were 

Seven  Sleepers 

equally  common,  and  I  believe  more  welcome  to  the 
monks  at  these  solemnities."  The  same  writer  finds 
a  parallel  instance  under  the  year  1432.  On  this 
occasion  the  treasurer  disbursed  four  shillings  to  six 
minstrels  from  Buckingham  for  singing  in  the  refectory 
a  legend  called  the  "Martyrdom  of  the  Seven  Sleepers," 
on  the  Feast  of  the  Epiphany.1 

The  liberality  of  Richard  II.  to  his  musicians  is 
well  seen  from  a  Harleian  manuscript  (No.  433),  where 
annuities  and  rewards  are  exceptionally  generous.  The 
"  impression  "  of  boys  for  the  Chapel  Royal  seems  to 
have  been  first  begun  in  this  reign.  One  John  Melynek 
was  empowered  "to  take  and  seize  for  the  king  all 
such  singing-men  expert  in  the  science  of  music  as  he 
could  find  and  think  able  to  do  the  king's  service, 
within  all  places  of  the  realm,  as  well  as  cathedral 
churches,  colleges,  chapels,  houses  of  religion,  and 
all  other  franchised  or  exempt  places,  or  elsewhere." 
Other  kings  and  queens,  as  will  later  appear,  "took 
and  seized"  youths  for  the  royal  services,  but  the  above 
authority  is  unique  as  regards  the  pressing  of  men  for 
ecclesiastical  service. 

In  a  duodecimo  MS.  of  about  1377  contained  in  the 
British  Museum,  a  few  examples  of  vulgar  music  occur, 
specimens  of  which  may  be  seen  in  Ritson's  Ancient 

1  The  Greek  version  of  the  legend  was  never  printed.  But  Warton 
found  a  Norman  poem  (in  Saxon  character)  in  the  British  Museum, 
which  he  thinks  was  afterwards  put  in  English  rhyme.  The  legend  is  of 
"the  seven"  being  enclosed  in  a  cave  at  Ephesus  by  the  Emperor 
Decius;  they  were  found  sleeping  (but  alive)  372  years  afterwards. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Songs.      There   are   six   pieces   in   the    MS.,   with  the 
following  titles: — 

"Lullay,  my  childe,  and  wepe  no  more"        -        -  fol.  i. 

"  Now  has  Mary  born  a  flour"       -        -        -        -  „    2. 

"  I  have  loved  so  many  a  day "      -        -        -  „    ib. 

" Lullay,  lullow,  lullay,  my  barne,  slepe  softly  now"  „    3^. 

"I  saw  a  swete  semly  syght"         -        -        -        -  „    4. 

"  Puer  natus  in  Betlehem " „    6b. 

Unfortunately,  the  MS.  is  fragmentary  and  extremely 
fragile.  It  belonged  at  one  time  to  Ritson,  who  states 
that  it  was  written  (partly  at  least)  in  the  times  of 
Richard  II.  and  Henry  IV.  He  adds  that  it  "  contains 
perhaps  the  oldest  specimens  of  vulgar  music  that  can 
be  produced."  The  handwriting  is  said  to  be  that  of 
"  the  famous  John  Brakley,  frier  minor  of  Norwich." 


o.O-A    ^    o 

I  haue  loved  fo  many  aday,  ligthly  fpedde  bot  beu'  1  may 

Yis  endf  day  wen  me  was  wo  vndc  a  bugh,  y'  I  lay, 
Naghr  gale  to  mene  me  to 

On  the   following  page  is   a  picture  of  the  <(  Virgin 
Mother  "  rocking  her  cradle. 


Fourteenth  Century  Theorists 


I      faw    a    fwete     sely  fyght    a    bjisful     birde 
A    maydin  mod4   mek    &   myld  in  cedil    kep 

0  ^  Q  0  °    °  .        ^" 

a  blofsu  bright  yc  rnnyg   made    and  mirgh  of  mage 
a  knaue   child   yc  foftly    flepe  fcho    fat    and     sjge 

x>  /^ 

I  faw  a    fwete.   sely    fight    a    blofsu  bright  a    blif- 
A  maydin  mod5  mek  and  mild  I  cedil  kepe   a  knaue 

ful  bird  yt    mnyg    made    and    mrthe  of  m  [ange]. 
child  yl  foftly  flepe  fcho  fate  and   fange. 

Many  theorists  flourished  during  the  reign  of  Edward 
III.  Such  were  Simon  Tunsted  of  Norwich,  the  two 
De  Muris,  Torksey,  Thomas  of  Tukesbury,  Robert 
Handlo,  Lionel  Power,  Chilston,  and  Theinred  the 
Monk.  Some  of  their  treatises  have  been  printed  by 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Coussemaker,  who  reproduced  no  less  than  forty  of 
those  written  between  1300  and  1400.  Readers  are 
referred  to  the  Story  of  Notation  ("  Music  Story  Series  ") 
for  an  account  of  these  old  writers,  whose  labours 
were  invaluable  in  the  development  of  the  art  of 

Passing  to  the  year  1380,  the  Statutes  of  New 
College,  Oxford,  show  that  William  of  Wykeham 
.  enjoined  his  scholars  to  sing  songs  in  hall, 

both  before  and  after  supper,  on  all  festal 
days.  Such  a  direction  given  by  the  founder  would 
seem  to  indicate  that  singing,  probably  in  parts,  was 
to  be  expected  of  educated  people. 

A  curious  record  of  a  Court  of  Minstrels,  formed 
under  the  auspices  of  John  of  Gaunt,  also  refers  to 
the  year  1380 — the  fourth  of  Richard  II.'s  reign.  It 
appears  that  in  ancient  times  the  Dukes  of  Lancaster, 
usually  of  royal  stock,  kept  great  house  at  Tutbury 
Castle.  The  crowds  of  visitors,  here  hospitably  enter- 
tained, drew  together  large  bands  of  minstrels,  who, 
owing  to  the  common  incidental  jealousies  of  their 
profession,  were  found  somewhat  difficult  to  keep  in 
due  order.  A  code  of  rules  was  therefore  drawn  for 

their    observance.      A    King    of    Minstrels 

Minstrels*     ^Roy   des   Ministraulx]    was    chosen,   and    a 

ourt  Court     legally     empowered     to     take     and 

(Staffs^       arrest  all  disobedient  members  of  the  craft. 

Hawkins  quotes  at  some  length  (History 
of  Music,  bk.  v.,  chap,  xlii.)  from  Dr.  Plot's  account 
of  this  Minstrels'  Court-leet,  or  Court-baron.  With- 


King  of  Minstrels 

out  entering  into  the  minute  details  of  this  institution, 
the  following  are  some  of  the  principal  provisions: — 

Those  who  refused  their  services,  or  failed  in  their 
discharge,  were  liable  to  instant  arrest.  Power  was 
assigned  to  "our  well-beloved"  King  of  Minstrels  to 
execute  judgment.  The  "king"  was  to  summon  a 
court  of  his  fellow-minstrels,  to  hear  plaints,  and 
determine  controversies. 

Dr.  Plot  distinguishes  between  the  ancient  and  con- 
temporary procedures  at  these  annual  meetings.  He 
describes  the  procession  of  minstrels  to  church,  where 
they  go  "two  and  two  together,  playing  their  music, 
with  the  '  king '  for  the  year  marching  between  steward 
and  bailiff,  each  with  a  white  wand  in  hand."  Every 
attendant  was  expected  to  contribute  one  penny  to  the 
vicar  of  the  parish  church  on  these  occasions.  After 
church  a  roll  was  called,  and  twenty-four  of  "the 
sufficientest "  among  them  chosen  to  form  juries,  of 
twelve  for  Staffordshire  and  twelve  for  the  other 
counties.  The  foremen,  after  selection,  gave  a  charge, 
commending  to  their  brethren  the  consideration  of  the 
origin  of  all  music,  wind  and  string ;  also  the  antiquity 
and  excellence  of  both.  Such  charges  were  illustrated 
by  quotations  from  holy  writ,  and  an  appeal  to  the 
minstrels'  own  experience.  The  proceedings  terminated 
with  presentations  of  the  various  officers,  "a  noise 
(i.e.,  company)  of  musicians"  playing  the  while,  and 
the  circling  of  the  wine-cup  in  their  honour. 

The  business  of  the  court  being  over,  the  minstrels 
proceeded  to  a  "plentiful  dinner,"  which  was  followed 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

by    a    "  bull-running."      This    barbarous    performance 

meant  that  a  bull,  with   his  horns   and  ears  cropped, 

his    tail    docked,    and    his    nose    filled    with 

running  PePPer>  <<to  make  nim  mad,"  was  then 
turned  loose  for  the  minstrels  to  pursue 
during  a  whole  day.  He  was  considered  captured  if 
so  much  as  a  wisp  of  hair  was  torn  from  him.  Finally, 
after  some  further  cruelties,  such  as  baiting  the  bull 
with  dogs,  the  carcase  was  handed  over  for  the 
pleasure  or  profit  of  the  whole  body  of  minstrels,  as 
they  thought  fit.  There  is  a  reference  to  this  ancient 
barbarity  in  a  Robin  Hood  ballad  of  early  date:— 

"  This  battle  was  fought  near  Tutbury  town, 
When  the  bagpipes  baited  the  bull, 
I'm  King  of  the  Fidlers,  and  swear  'tis  a  truth, 
And  call  him  that  doubts  it  a  gull. 
For  I  saw  them  fighting,  and  fiddled  the  while. 
And  Clorinda  sung  Hey  derry  down; 
The  bumpkins  are  beaten,  put  up  thy  sword,  Bob; 
And  now  let's  dance  into  the  town. 
Before  we  came  to  it  we  heard  a  great  shouting, 
And  all  that  were  in  it  look'd  madly ; 
For  some  were  a  bull-back,  some  dancing  a  morrice, 
And  some  singing  Arthur  a  Bradley." 

The  only  Act  of  Henry  IV.  which  survives  in  con- 
nection  with    minstrelsy   is   set   forth   in   a 
Henry  IV.    statute    (dated    1402)  which  applied   to   the 
Welsh  bards.     The  curious  hybrid  wording 
alone  merits  quotation  : — 


Minstrels  and  Vagabonds 

"  Item,  pur  eschuir  plusieurs  diseases  et  mischiefs  qont  advenuz 
devaunt  ces  heures  en  la  terre  de  Gales  par  plusieurs  Westours 
Rymours  Minstralx  et  autres  Vacabondes,  ordeignez  est  et 
establiz  qe  mil  Westour,  Rymour  Ministral  ne  Vacabond  soit 
aucunement  sustenuz  en  la  terre  de  Gales  pur  faire  kymorthas 
ou  coillage  sur  la  commune  people  illoeques." 

The  severity  with  which  the  statute  treats  the  bards — 
once  the  companions  of  kings — not  only  indicates  that 
they  had  lost  caste ;  it  was  aimed  at  checking  the  par- 
ticular mischief  which  the  bards'  songs  incited — liberty, 
from  their  point  of  view  ;  rebellion,  as  the  statute  re- 
garded it.  The  privilege  which  these  men  possessed,  it 
is  said,  had  led  to  spying  and  the  carrying  of  secret 
intelligence,  which  the  strenuous  measures  of  the 
dominant  country  sought  to  put  down. 

The  reign  of  Henry  V.  supplies  us  with  several  in- 
cidents which  serve  to  illustrate  our  subject.  "The 
coronation  of  Henry  V.,"  says  Warton,  „ 

"was  celebrated  in  Westminister  Hall  with 
a  solemnity  proportioned  to  the  lustre  of  those  great 
achievements  which  afterwards  distinguished  the  annals 
of  that  victorious  monarch.  By  way  of  preserving 
order,  and  to  add  to  the  splendour  of  the  spectacle, 
many  of  the  nobility  were  ranged  along  the  sides  of  the 
tables  on  large  war-horses,  at  this  stately  festival; 
which,  says  my  chronicle,  was  a  second  feast  of 
Ahasuerus.  But  I  mention  this  ceremony  to  introduce 
a  circumstance  very  pertinent  to  our  purpose;  which  is, 
that  the  number  of  harpers  in  the  hall  was  innumerable, 
who  undoubtedly  accompanied  their  instuments  with 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

heroic  rhymes.  The  king,  however,  was  no  great  en- 
courager  of  the  popular  minstrelsy,  which  seems  at  this 
time  to  have  flourished  in  the  highest  degree  of  perfec- 
tion." Another  writer  observes  that  the  number  of 
harpers  was  exceedingly  great,  and  that  the  sweet 
strings  of  their  harps  " soothed  the  souls  of  the  guests 
by  their  soft  melody."  It  would  almost  seem  that 
minstrelsy  was  dying  harder  in  England  than  abroad, 
where  the  Provencals  had  already  ceased  writing. 
When  preparing  to  visit  France  in  1415,  Henry  expressly 
summoned  his  minstrels  to  attend  him. 1  A  French 
writer  speaks  of  the  English  camp,  on  the  day  before 
Agincourt,  as  "resounding  with  national  music." 
Immediately  before  battle,  however,  a  strict  silence 
was  enjoined. 

"Agincourt,  Agincourt,  know  ye  not  Agincourt? 
Where  the  English  slew  or  hurt 
All  the  French  foemen." 

The  king  returned  in  triumph  to  London,  where  the 
gates  were  hung  with  tapestry  showing  the  old  heroic 
battles.  Children  were  placed  in  artificial  turrets, 
singing  verses  in  honour  of  the  occasion.  Henry  would 
not  countenance  their  music,  which  he  not  only  forbade, 
but  commanded  that  for  the  future  "no  ditties  should 
be  made  and  sung  by  minstrels  or  others"  in  praise  of 

1  Eighteen  of  these  men  are  mentioned  as  receiving  "i2d.  per  diem," 
a  sum  equal  to  about  15  shillings  in  our  values. 



the  battle,  and  that  the  thanks  should  be  rendered  to 
God  alone.1 

A  song"  inspired  of  this  great  event  is  happily  pre- 
served   to    us    in    the    so-called    " Agincourt    Song." 


*>-^H  ±- 

%y              C^           C^              C^ 

De    -    o           gra 
TENOR  (Cantus). 

1    J  —  4- 

O»          "—  '   •          «P 

.     ti      -       -      as 

-r  f-  f. 

An      -      -     gh  - 

.1       J 

rffi  =  

1   .   1    i  —  H 


"1    ("I—     ,J 

—  H 

sF^  —  H^ 

-G>-          »^- 

-      a           Red 

-<   ^T 

pro      vie  - 

to        -       ri  - 


^-j  —  f  —  —  H 

i           '-^ 



G?  f^i  — 





f\    -  "  —  f- 

0   • 

-^  H 

522          ~n  " 
*/                 o 


King  went 





^          0                         rj     i 

Nor  -  man  -  Ay       With 

5  i 

1  Holingshed's  Chronicle  says,  "He  would  not  suffer  any  Dities  to  be 
made  and  sung  by  Minstrels,  of  his  glorious  victorie;  for  that  he  would 
wholly  have  the  praise  and  thankes  altogether  given  to  God." 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

grace   and    might      of       chi    -    val  -   ry,  There    God    for 

R  "  P 

lim  wrought     marv' -  lous  -  ly    Where -fore  Eng  -  land    may 

Lj-JJM  JfT^-^fU^I 

call    and  cry, 

gra    -     ti    -    as. 



—  H 






_|  Y—  —  _j 

jfo  ,  j__^_ 

«/              e?       c-»       o»     c-' 
TENOR.  ^^           ^_ 





AP  i 

^O       ™|     |  i      1 

'  •  '  -i 

De  -  o         gra  - 

ti  - 




-        gli- 
o        ^ 

^T>);  _  _  ^-> 


C2  ^  

r  ^  — 


=  —  1 


Fifteenth  Century  Carols 

a     Red  -  de    pro  vie      -       -      to 

Stafford  Smith  appears  to  have  brought  it  to  light,  by 
his  publication  of  a  facsimile  in  his  Collection  of  English 
Songs  (1779).  Burney  also  included  the  music  in  his 
History  (vol.  2),  in  I782.1  Mention  should  further  be 
made  of  the  copy  which  Percy  included  in  his  Reliques — 
unfortunately,  an  inaccurate  one.  The  MS.  from  which 
these  versions  were  taken  was  in  the  Pepysian  Library, 
Cambridge,  from  whence  it  has  been  since  lost.  For- 
tunately, Trinity  College  possessed  a  manu-  . 
script  roll  of  thirteen  pieces,  the  "Agincourt 
Song"  being  one.  As  this  roll  is  now  printed,  a 
description  is  unnecessary.  It  may,  however,  be  pointed 
out  that  this  "  Agincourt  Song  "  is  modelled  almost  pre- 
cisely on  the  lines  of  the  Carols  of  the  fifteenth  century, 
twelve  of  which  form  the  rest  of  the  contents  of  the  MS. 
roll.  The  authorship  has  been  attributed  to  John 
Dunstable,  with  a  high  degree  of  probability.  Another 

1  Burney  remarks  that  "Specimens  of  musical  compositions  at  such 
an  early  period  are  so  scarce,  and  this  in  particular  seems  so  much  to 
belong  to  my  subject,  that  a  history  of  English  music  would  be  de* 
ficient  without  it."  (History p,  ii.  383.) 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

MS.  of  this  battle-song  is  preserved  in  the  Bodleian.  It 
is  seen,  on  comparison,  that  there  are  important 
variations  in  the  three  versions.  That  we  quote  is  the 
Trinity  College  MS.  It  may  have  been  this  "ditty" 
that  Henry  V.  forbade  being  sung  by  the  children  in 
the  artificial  turrets,  but  it  must  be  confessed  that  there 
is  no  evidence  forthcoming.  So  great  an  occasion  as 
that  of  Agincourt  could  not  but  call  forth  a  large 
number  of  poetical  and  musical  compositions,  one  of 
which  ("among  many  others")  is  referred  to  by  Warton 
as  the  "Seyge  of  Harfleet  and  the  Battallye  of  Agyn- 
kourte,"  written  in  1417 — that  is,  two  years  after  the 

Henry's  humility  was  not  assumed  when  he  imposed 
his  Non  nodi's,  as  is  seen  from  the  fact  that,  contrary  to 
custom,  he  would  not  allow  his  helmet  to  be  publicly 
exposed  to  the  people's  gaze,  "that  they  might  behold 
the  dintes  and  cuttes  whiche  appeared  in  the  same,  of 
such  blowes  and  stripes  as  he  received  the  daye  of  the 

Then  we  discover  that  in  the  year  following  Agincourt 
he  duly  celebrated  the  Feast  of  Pentecost,  having  for 
his  guests  the  Emperor,  and  the  Duke  of  Holland ; 
while  sixteen  minstrels — one  of  whom,  Thomas  Chatter- 
ton,  is  mentioned  by  name — were  retained  for  their 
amusement.  Their  rewards  are  stated  to  have  been 
"rich  gowns."  In  the  early  days  of  the  Plantagenets 
such  rewards  were  not  uncommonly  in  the  shape  of 
arms,  clothes,  horses,  and  gifts  in  kind.  But  we  have 
1  Holingshed. 


already  seen  that  substantial  sums  of  money,  and  even 
houses  and  land  were  sometimes  the  guerdon  of  the 
best  class  of  minstrel.  It  is,  therefore,  with  no  surprise 
that  we  find  King  Henry  V.  granting,  at  death,  an 
annuity  of  one  hundred  shillings  to  each  of  his  minstrels, 
a  legacy  duly  executed  by  his  successor,  in  1423. 

"The  reign  of  Henry  VI.,"  says  Ritson,  "is  an  era 
of  great  consequence  in  the  poetical  annals  of  this 
country;  not  so  much,  indeed,  from  the 

11  r  4-t!  -4.    j  j 

excellence,  as  from  the  magnitude  and 
multiplicity  of  its  metrical  productions.  The  works 
of  Lydgate,  monk  of  Bury,  alone,  are  nearly  sufficient 
to  load  a  waggon." 

After  his  coronation  at  Paris,  Henry  VI.  made  a 
triumphal  entry  into  London,  where  a  series  of  alle- 
gorical spectacles  were  represented;  some  of  the  figures 
being  a  giant,  representing  religious  fortitude,  Enoch, 
Eli,  the  Trinity,  two  judges,  eight  sergeants  of  the 
coife,  Dame  Clennesse,  Mercy,  Truth,  and  others  of  a 
like  nature.  One  of  Lydgate's  songs  has  for  its  subject 
this  very  event.  It  runs  thus: — 

';  Rejoice  !  ye  Reames  of  englond  and  of  ffraunce, 
A  braunche  that  sprang  oute  of  the  floure  de  lys, 
Blode  of  Seint  Edward  and  Seint  lowys, 
God  hath  this  day  sent  in  governaunce. 
God  of  nature  hath  yoven  him  suffisaunce 
Likely  to  atteyne  to  grete  honoure  and  pris. 
O  hevenly  blossome,  O  budde  of  all  plesaunce, 
God  graunt  the  grace  for  to  ben  als  wise 
As  was  thi  fader  by  circumspect  advise, 
Stable  in  v'tue  withoute  variaunce." 

97  H 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

At  the  coronation  feast  of  this  king",  some  curious  dishes 
were  served  up,  if  their  devices  mean  anything.  In  the 
first  course  a  subtlety  ("  sotiltie  ")  was  contrived  show- 
ing St.  Edward  and  St.  Lewis,  in  coat-of-mail,  "hold- 
ing between  them  a  figure  like  King  Henry,  similarly 
armed,  and  standing  with  a  ballad  under  his  feet"  In 
the  second  course  a  device  of  Emperor  Sigismund  and 
Henry  V.,  arrayed  in  mantles  of  garter,  and  a  figure 
like  Henry  VI.,  kneeling  before  them  with  a  ballad 
against  the  Lollards.  The  third  course  offered  a  pre- 
sentment of  Our  Lady,  with  a  child  in  her  lap  and  a 
crown  in  her  hand,  with  St.  George  and  St.  Denis  upon 
either  side  presenting  to  her  King  Henry,  with  a 
ballad  in  his  hand.  It  is  said  that  these  so-called 
subtleties  were  devised  by  the  clergy,  who  desired  to 
turn  attention  from  their  own  misdemeanours  to  those 
of  the  Lollards  or  Wickliffites.  The  latter  certainly 
gave  the  churchmen  occasion  for  a  grudge,  for  we  find 
an  ecclesiastic  complaining  that  "the  people  laugh  at 
us,  and  make  us  their  songs  all  the  day  long." 

If  the  clergy  were  bitter  against  the  ballad-writers, 
they  had  good  reason  to  be  also  jealous  of  the  minstrels 

proper,  who  at  this  time  were  better  paid 
A.D. 1430  , 

than   were   they,    as   may   be   learned  from 

Hearne's  note  as  follows: — "The  fraternity  of  the  Holy 
Crosse  in  Abingdon,  in  Henry  VI. 's  time,  being  there 
where  now  the  hospital  is,  did  every  year  keep  a  feast, 
and  then  they  used  to  have  twelve  priests  to  sing  a 
dirige,  for  which  they  had  given  them  fourpence  a-piece. 
They  had  also  twelve  minstrels,  some  from  Coventry 


and  some  from  Maidenhead,  who  had  two  shillings  and 
threepence  a-piece,  besides  their  diet  and  horse-meat." 
The  chronicler  adds,  "  Observe  that  in  those  dayes  they 
payd  there  mynstrells  better  than  theyre  preistes." 
The  reason,  of  course,  was  that  the  people  of  those 
days,  as  in  more  enlightened  times,  loved  better  to  be 
pleased  than  instructed.1 

Another  historical  instance  may  be  quoted  from  1441, 
when  eight  priests  were  hired  from  Coventry  to  assist 
in  celebrating  a  yearly  obit  at  Maxtoke  Priory  Church. 
Hither  also  came  six  of  Lord  Clinton's  Mimi,  or 
minstrels,  to  sing,  harp,  and  play  in  the  monastery  hall, 
while  the  monks  enjoyed  a  special  anniversary  refection. 
For  their  respective  services  the  priests  received  two 
shillings  to  the  minstrels'  four;  moreover,  the  latter 
supped  in  camera  picta — that  is,  in  the  painted  chamber 
of  the  convent,  with  the  sub-prior,  by  the  light  of  "  eight 
massy  tapers  of  wax."  In  dismissing  this  part  of  the 
minstrels'  history,  it  may  be  added  that  during  the  same 
year,  the  Maxtoke  prior  gave  the  sum  of  sixpence  (not 
less  than  five  shillings  of  our  present  money)  to  a  Doctor 
Praedicans,  an  itinerant  preacher,  in  pay  for  his  sermon.2 

As  a  specimen  of  the  music  of  these  times,  quotation 
is  made  of  a  Christmas  carol  which  is  understood  to 
date  from  1460.  Originally  the  music  had  two  sets  of 
words — sacred  and  secular,  an  arrangement  which 

1  Warton's  History  of  Poetry. 

2  In  Elizabeth's  time  (1560),  a  record  of  the  Stationers'  Company  has 
the  following: — "Item,  payd  to  the  preacher,  6s.  2d.     Item,  payd  to  the 
minstrell,  125." 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

seems  to  have  been  common  during  the  Middle  Ages. 
The  MS.  which  disappeared  while  in  the  hands  of  the 
printer,  was,  fortunately,  already  in  type,  being  edited 
for  the  Percy  Society  by  T.  Wright.  We  give  a  copy 
of  the  music,  with  the  first  verse  of  the  carol  exactly 
as  they  appear  in  the  Percy  Society's  volume: — 

"  Nowell,  nowell,  nowell,  nowell ! 
This  is  the  salutation  of  the  angel  Gabriel. 

Tidings  true  there  be  come  new,  sent  from  the  Trinity, 

By  Gabriel  to  Nazareth,  city  of  Galilee. 

A  clean  maiden  and  pure  virgin, 

Through  her  humility 

Hath  conceived  the  person  second  in  Deity." 

1    I  I  . 

^  J  J    o       c).   <rJ   .f 


j  j  J,J,J0  J,J  \>t»\  ji^j 

The  editor   of  the   MS.   quoted   remarks    that   ''the 
great  variations  in  the  different  copies  of  the  same  song 


"  Heave  and  ho  !  rumbelow " 

show  that  they  were  taken  down  from  oral  recitation, 
and  had  often  been  preserved  by  memory  among 
minstrels  who  were  not  unskilful  at  composing;  and 
who  were  not  only  in  the  habit  of  voluntarily  or  in- 
voluntarily modifying  the  songs  as  they  passed  through 
their  hands,  but  of  adding  or  omitting  stanzas  from  the 
different  compositions  which  were  imprinted  on  their 
memories."  The  MS.,  which  contains  drinking  songs 
and  satires  on  the  fair  sex,  was  in  all  probability 
originally  the  property  of  a  country  minstrel,  who  would 
sing  at  fairs  and  rural  gatherings.  The  value  of  these 
songs  was  thus  appraised  by  Dr.  Johnson:  "The 
merriment  is  very  gross,  and  the  sentiments  very 

A  fragment  of  a  popular  song  is  mentioned  by  the 
poet  Skelton  in  the  "  Bowge  of  Court" — his  best 
serious  poem — introduced  by  Haruy  Hafter,  one  of  the 
characters,  as  follows: — 

"  His  throat  was  clear,  and  lustily  could  feign 
And  ever  he  sang,  sith  I  am  nothing  plain, 
To  keep  him  from  piking  it  was  a  great  pain. 
Hold  up  the  helm,  look  up,  and  let  God  steer; 
I  would  be  merry  what  wind  that  ever  blow, 
Heave  and  ho  !  rumbelow,  row  the  boat,  Norman  row.' 


Heave  and  ho,  rum-  below,  Rowthe  boat,  Norman,  row,  Row  to  the  ha-ven. 

For  three  equal  voices;  the  second  entering  two  bars  after  the  first, 
and  the  third  voice  two  bars  after  the  second. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Hilton's  "  Catch  that  Catch  can"  (1652)  preserves 
the  music  we  have  quoted.  Playford  afterwards  sub- 
stituted "  Whittington  "  for  "  Norman."  This  Norman 
was  Mayor  of  London  in  the  thirty-second  year  of 
Henry  VI. 's  reign.  The  Thames  watermen  are  credited 
with  the  authorship  of  the  song;  for  Norman,  instead 
of  proceeding  through  the  streets  to  Westminster,  was 
rowed  thither  by  water,  and  thus  earned  their  thanks 
and  a  song.  D' Israeli  notes  in  his  Curiosities  of 
Literature  (1785),  "  Our  sailors  at  Newcastle,  in  heaving 
their  anchors,  have  their  4  Heave  and  ho  !  rum  below,'" 
which  serves  to  show  the  singular  vitality  this  occasional 
song  possessed.  In  the  poem  which  preserves  the 
song,  Skelton  has  other  references  to  the  music  of  his 
time,  which  may  be  briefly  quoted.  Here  is  a  pupil 
(the  same  Haruy  Hafter)  desirous  of  learning  prick- 
song: — 

"Princes  of  youghte,  can  ye  sing  by  rote, 
Or  shall  I  sail  with  you  a  fellowship  essay, 
For  on  the  book  I  cannot  sing  a  note; 
Would  to  God,  it  would  please  you  some  day, 
A  ballad  book  before  me  for  to  lay, 
And  learn  me  to  sing  (Re  mi  fa  sol), 
And  when  I  fail,  bob  me  on  the  noil." 

Of  another  character  (viz.,  Ryot)  it  is  said — 
"  Counter  he  coude  (O  lux)  upon  a  pot." 

"O  Lux  beata  Trinitas,"  so  unceremoniously  intro- 
duced, was  a  favourite  theme  so  late  as  in  the  time  of 


Mind,  Will,  and  Understanding 

James  I.,  and  the   habit  of  extemporizing  upon  such 
melodies  seems  to  be  indicated  by  Skelton's  verse. 

The  introduction  of  vocal  part-music  in  the  miracle- 
plays  and  mysteries  (the  early  attempts  at  dramatic 
composition)  can  be  traced  to  this  reign.  So 
much  is  evidenced  by  a  MS.  (in  the  Towneley 
collection)  in  the  form  of  a  miracle-play  on 
the  subject  of  the  Adoration  of  the  Shepherds.  The 
character  of  this  work  amounts  almost  to  farce,  in  spite 
of  its  religious  disguise.  In  the  moral  play,  Mind,  Will, 
and  Understanding  (also  dating  from  Henry  VI. 's  time), 
there  is  the  following: — 

"Mynde.  I  rejoys  of  thes;  now  let  us  synge. 
Undyrstondyng.  Ande  yff  I  spare,  evell  joy  me  wrynge. 
WylL  Have  at  you  I;  lo,  I  have  a  sprynge; 

Lust  makyth  me  wondyr  wylde. 
Mynde.  A  tenour  to  you  both  I  brynge. 
Undyrstondyng.  And  I  a  mene  for  any  kynge. 
WylL    And  but  a  trebul  I  out  wrynge, 

The  devell  hym  spede  that  myrthe  exyled." 

Though  the  stage  direction  adds  "  Et  Cantent"  (and 
let  them  sing),  unfortunately  the  music  and  words  have 
both  disappeared.  In  another  part  of  this  morality,  the 
direction  runs — "  Here  they  go  out,  and  in  the  goying 
the  soule  syngyth  in  the  most  lamentabull  wyse  with 
drawte  notes,  as  yt  ys  songyn  in  the  passyon  wyke." 

Although  religious  parodies  were  composed  in  Greek 
during  the  fourth  century,  the  true  origin  of  sacred 
comedy  is  of  later  date.  During  the  eighth  century, 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

the  establishment  of  public  marts,  due  to  Charlemagne, 
brought  together  numbers  of  people,  whom  the  mer- 
chants endeavoured  to  attract  and  divert  by  means  of 
shows,  in  which  music  and  dancing  were  brought  into 
requisition.  The  success  of  these  performances  led  to 
their  interdiction  by  the  priests.  Finding  opposition 
useless,  the  clergy,  with  a  worldly  wisdom  not  always 
so  readily  forthcoming,  took  a  leaf  out  of  the  secular 
book,  and  themselves  turned  actors.  Stories  from  the 
Bible  were  turned  into  little  plays,  in  which  much  of 
the  grossness  and  absurdity  of  the  fairs  were  still 
evident.  The  Feast  of  Fools,  the  Prose  de  VAne,  and  La 
Fete  des  Innocens  became  highly  popular.  William 
the  Conqueror  did  for  our  own  country  a  service 
similar  to  Charlemagne's  for  France.  The  miracle-play 
of  St.  Catherine,  acted  at  Dunstaple  in  mo,  is  but  one 
of  a  number  of  such  pieces  popular  at  the  time, 
especially  in  London.1  At  Chester  in  1327  many  such 
pieces  were  given  at  the  expense  of  the  trading 
companies.  A  few  of  these  plays  are  thus  entitled: 
Fall  of  Lucifer -,  Creation,  Deluge,  Abraham,  Moses, 
Salutation  and  Nativity,  The  Three  Kings,  Last  Supper, 
Resurrection,  The  Ascension.  The  plays  were  in  the 
hands  of  the  clergy,  who,  however,  employed  minstrels 

1  Du  Cange  describes  the  farces  and  drolls  given  at  the  French 
Court  about  the  year  1290  in  the  following  terms: — "The  company 
was  entertained  with  the  instrumental  music  of  the  minstrels,  who 
played  on  the  kettledrum,  flageolet,  cornet,  cittern,  flute,  trumpet, 
Moorish  cittern,  and  fiddle.  Comedies,"  says  he,  "were  performed 
by  Farceurs,  Jongleurs,  and  Plaisantins." 


"Children  Stript  and  Whipt" 

for  the  musical  portions  of  the  entertainment.  Thus, 
at  Coventry  in  1474  there  is  mention  of  minstrelsy  and 
organ-playing.  As  early  as  1378,  the  choristers  of 
St.  Paul's  Cathedral,  London,  presented  a  petition  to 
Richard  II.  to  protect  their  Christmas  plays,  upon 
which  much  money  had  been  spent,  and  which  were 
being  interfered  with  "  by  ignorant  and  unexperienced 
persons "  acting  the  same.  The  St.  Paul's  children 
became  so  expert  in  these  matters  that  they  were  not 
uncommonly  in  request  at  Court.1  At  Eton  it  was 
customary  on  the  Feast  of  St.  Andrew  (November  3oth) 
to  select  a  play  for  the  boys  to  learn  "over  against 
Christmas,"  when  it  was  publicly  presented,  in  Latin  or 
English,  as  the  case  might  be.  Other  schools,  about 
this  time,  followed  the  same  custom.  Such  is  the 
briefest  possible  account  of  the  precursors  of  the 
drama,  the  opera,  and  the  oratorio. 

The  friars  of  Coventry,  whose  history  is  inseparable 
from  that  of  our  early  drama,2  entertained  Queen 
Margaret  (wife  of  Henry  VI.)  in  1456  with  a  presenta- 
tion of  pageants.  Later  (in  1474),  the  same  famous 
exhibitors  played  before  the  son  of  Edward  IV.;  the 

1  In  a  puritanical  pamphlet  (1569),   entitled    The  Children  of  the 
Chapel  Stript  and    Whipt,   there   is  the   following:— "Even   in   her 
Majesty's  chapel  do  these  pretty  upstart  youths  profane  the  Lord's  Day 
by  the  writhing  of  their  tender  limbs  and  gorgeous  decking  of  their 
apparel,  in  feigning  fables  gathered  from  the  idolatrous  heathen  poets." 

2  The  old  morality  of  Everyman}  successfully  revived  in  our  time, 
was   originally   printed   (in   black-letter)   by  John    Skot,    of    Powle's 
Chyrche   Yarde,  in  Henry  VIII. 's  reign.     Pynson  reprinted  it.     (See 
Hawkins'  Origin  of  the  English  Drama,  where  it  is  reproduced). 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

piece  offering  such  characters  as  Edward  the  Confessor, 
St.  George  and  the  Dragon,  and  so  forth.  The  conduit 
on  which  the  champion  was  placed  "  running  wine  in  four 
places;"  there  was  also  "minstrelsy  of  organ-playing." 
The  second  half  of  the  fifteenth  century  was  a  notable 
period  in  the  musical  history  of  this  country.  Already 
signs  were  not  wanting  that  a  new  order  of  men  was 
springing  up  which  had  little  or  nothing  in  common  with 
the  minstrel  class,  though  practising  a  higher  develop- 
ment— so  much  must  be  allowed — of  the  same  art. 
Dunstable,  the  most  considerable  musician  which 
England  had  so  far  produced,  died  in  1453.  The  con- 
fusion into  which  the  Wars  of  the  Roses  (1455-71) 
plunged  the  country  did  not  entirely  suspend  the 
progress  of  music.  In  1456  a  commission  was  formed 
for  impressing  youths  to  supply  vacancies  among  the 
king's  minstrels.  Care  was  to  be  had  that  those  chosen 
should  be  graceful  and  attractive  no  less  than  well- 
skilled  in  music,  for  the  better  diversion  of  his  Majesty 
Henry  VI.  John  Hamboys  may  be  mentioned  as  one 
of  the  new  school.  He  is  referred  to  in  Holingshed's 
Chronicle  as  one  eminent  for  learning.  Hamboys  is 
said  by  Hawkins  to  have  been  "the  first  person  on 
whom  the  degree  of  Doctor  in  Music  was  conferred 
by  either  of  the  universities  in  this  kingdom."  The 
records,  it  seems,  neither  disprove  nor  support  the  state- 
ment. Mention  of  several  graduates  occurs  about  this 
time.  Thus,  we  read  of  Henry  Habington  being 
admitted  a  Bachelor  of  Music  at  Cambridge  in  1463; 
while  in  the  same  year  Thomas  Saintivex  (or  Sainwix), 


Minstrels'  Charter 

Mus.  Doc.,  was  made  Provost  of  King's  College 
(Cambridge),  by  the  founder,  Henry  VI.  A  remark- 
able passage  in  Erasmus  confirms  our  view  that  music 
was  now  being  much  cultivated.  "As  nature  has 
implanted  self-love,"  says  this  writer,  "in  the  minds  of 
all  mortals,  so  has  she  dispensed  to  every  country  and 
nation  a  certain  tincture  of  the  same  affection.  Hence 
it  is  that  the  English  challenge  the  prerogative  of  having 
the  most  handsome  women,  of  being  most  accomplished 
in  the  skill  of  music,  and  of  keeping  the  best  tables."1 

In  the  ninth  year  of  the  reign  of  Edward  IV.,  on  the 
complaint  of  some  of  the  king's  minstrels  that  their  livery 
and  title  was  being  appropriated  and  used  by 
certain   rude  husbandmen  and  artificers  of 
various  trades,  a  royal  charter  was  granted  for  the  protec- 
tion of  these  musicians.    Walter  Haliday,  who  had  served 
under   the   two    preceding    monarchs,    was 

appointed  as  Marshal — a  title  which,  it  may         _„  °^a 
.    ,      ,  ,  ,  .  /rut.  Charter 

be  noted,  had  been  his  since  1464,  when  he 

is  so  described  in  an  instrument  granting  a  pension  of 
ten  marks  annually  for  life.  The  minstrels  associated 
with  Haliday  were  John  Cliff,  Robert  Marshall,  Thomas 
Grene,  Thomas  Calthorn,  William  Cliff,  William  Cris- 
tean,  and  William  Eyneysham.  It  may  be  observed 
that  three  of  the  minstrels  mentioned — namely,  Haliday, 
Marshall,  and  John  Cliff — had  been  appointed  pre- 

1  "  Natura  ut  singulis  mortalibus  suam,  ita  singulis  nationibus,  ac 
pene  civitatibus  communem  quandam  insevisse  Philautium ;  atque  hinc 
fieri  Britanni  proeter  alia,  formam,  musicam,  et  lautas  mebsas  proprie 
sibi  vindicent." — Morice  Encomium. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

viously  by  Henry  VI.  to  provide  youths  in  the  room  of 
members  of  the  royal  minstrels  who  were  deceased. 
King  Edward's  charter  granted  letters  patent  to  the 
effect  that  the  Marshal  and  his  seven  associates  should 
form  "in  deed  and  name  one  body  and  cominality, 
perpetual  and  capable  in  the  law,  and  should  have  per- 
petual succession ;  and  that  as  well  the  minstrels  of  the 
said  king  which  then  were,  as  other  minstrels  of  the  said 
king,  and  his  heirs  which  should  be  afterwards,  might 
at  their  pleasure  name,  choose,  ordain,  and  successively 
constitute  from  amongst  themselves  one  marshal,  able 
and  fit  to  remain  in  that  office  during  his  life,  and  also 
two  wardens  every  year,  to  govern  the  said  fraternity 
and  guild." 

In   the   king's   private   establishment  provision  was 

made   for   "  Minstrels  thirteen,  whereof  one  is  virger, 

who  directeth  them  on  all  festival  days,  in 

war  ,  s  j-jjgjj.  stations  of  blowing  and  pipings,  to 
such  offices  as  the  officers  might  be  warned 
to  prepare  for  the  king's  meats  and  suppers;  to  be 
more  readier  in  all  services  and  due  time;  and  all  these 
sitting  in  the  hall  together,  whereof  some  be  trumpets, 
some  with  the  shalmes  and  small  pipes,  and  some  are 
strange  men  coming  to  this  court  at  five  feasts  of  the 
year,  and  then  take  their  wages  of  household  after  4d. 
by  day,  accordingly  as  they  have  been  present  in  court, 
and  to  depart  after  the  morrow  of  the  feast,  beside 
their  other  rewards  yearly  in  the  king's  exchequer,  and 
clothing  with  the  household,  winter  and  summer  for 
each  of  them  205.,  and  they  take  nightly  amongst  them 

1 08 


all  four  gallons  of  ale;  and  for  winter  season  three 
wax  candles,  6  candles  of  pitch,  3  taleshieds  (bundles 
of  firewood);  lodging  sufficient  by  the  'herbengere' 
for  them  and  their  horses,  nightly  to  the  court.  Also 
having  into  court  2  servants  to  bear  their  trumpets, 
pipes,  and  other  instruments,  and  torch  for  winter 
nights,  whilst  they  blow  to  supper  of  the  Chantrey; 
and  alway  two  of  these  persons  to  continue  still  in 
court  at  wages  by  the  check-roll,  whilst  they  be  present 
4d.  daily  to  warn  the  king's  riding  household  when  he 
goeth  to  horseback  as  oft  as  it  shall  require,  and  that 
his  household  men  may  follow  the  more  reddier  after 
by  the  blowing  of  the  trumpets.  If  any  of  the  two 
minstrels  be  let  blood  in  court,  he  taketh  2  loaves,  2 
messes  of  great  meat,  one  gallon  of  ale.  They  part 
not  at  no  time  with  the  rewards  given  to  the  house- 
hold. Also  when  it  pleaseth  the  king  to  have  2 
minstrels  continuing  in  court,  they  will  not  in  nowise 
that  these  minstrels  be  so  familiar  to  ask  rewards. 
"  A  Waite1  that  nightly  from  Michaelmas  to  Shrove 

1  The  Wait  was  originally  a  watchman,  whose  instrument  (hautboy) 
was  also  known  as  "wait"  or  "waight."  Stowe  states  that  in  1253, 
Henry  III.  established  Watches  in  London,  and  that  at  certain  seasons 
(as  Midsummer)  great  processions  numbering  (on  one  occasion,  at 
least)  2000  men,  with  drummers,  fifes,  and  mounted  trumpeters  going 
before,  perambulated  the  city,  where  bonfires  and  banquettings  were 
prepared  in  the  streets.  After  Henry  VIII. 's  time  these  city  watches 
became  less  and  less ;  finally,  a  wait  was  a  town  appointment,  held  by 
a  musician  who  took  part  in  civic  shows.  The  Waits  at  Christmas- 
time are  the  watchers,  or  wakes,  who  greet  the  anniversary  of  the 
Nativity  morning. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Thursday  pipeth  watch  within  this  court  four  times ;  in 
the  summer  nights  three  times;  and  maketh  Bon 
Gayte  at  every  chamber  door  and  office  as  well  for  fear 
of  pickers  and  pillers.  He  eateth  in  the  hall  with 
minstrels  and  taketh  livery  at  night  a  loaf,  a  gallon  of 
ale,  and  for  summer  nights  two  candles  pitch,  a  bushel 
of  .coal;  and  for  winter  nights  half  a  loaf  of  bread,  a 
gallon  of  ale,  four  candles  pitch,  a  bushel  of  coal; 
daily  whilst  he  is  present  in  court  for  his  wages  in 
check  roll  allowed  4d.  or  else  3d.  by  the  discretion  of 
the  steward  and  treasurer,  and  that  after  his  coming 
and  deserving,  also  clothing  with  the  hoysehold  yeo- 
maen  or  minstrels,  like  to  the  wages  that  he  taketh; 
an  he  be  sick  he  taketh  two  loaves,  two  messes  of 
great  meat,  one  gallon  of  ale.  Also  he  parteth  with 
the  household  of  general  gifts  and  have  his  bedding 
carried  by  the  controller's  assignment,  and  under  this 
yeoman  to  be  a  groom  waiter.  If  he  can  excuse  the 
yeoman  in  his  absense  then  he  taketh  reward  clothing 
meat  and  all  other  things  like  to  other  grooms  of 
household.  Also  this  yeoman  waite  at  the  making  of 
Knights  of  the  Bath,  for  his  attendance  upon  them  by 
night-time,  in  watching  in  the  chapel  after  his  fee  all  the 
watching  clothing  that  the  knight  shall  wear  upon  him. 

"The  Dean  hath  all  corrections  of  Chapellmen,  in 
moribus  et  scientia;  except  in  some  cases  to  the  steward 
and  counting-house;  he  nor  none  of  the  Chapel  parteth 
with  the  household  of  no  general  gifts  except  vesture. 

"  Chaplins  and  Clerks  of  the  Chapel  xxiiii.  by  the 
Dean's  election  or  denomination,  endowed  with  virtues 


Minstrel  Fraternity 

moral  and  speculative,  as  of  the  music,  showing  in 
descant,  clear  voiced,  well  relished  in  pronouncing". 
Eloquent  in  readings,  sufficient  in  organs  playing,  and 
modest  in  all  other  behaviour,  sitting  in  the  hall  to- 
gether at  the  Dean's  board,  also  lodging  together 
within  the  court  in  one  chamber,  or  else  nigh  thereto. 
And  every  each  of  them  being  in  court  for  his  daily 
wage  allowed  in  the  check  roll,  viid." 

The  two  Epistellers  (or  Pisteleres)  were  chosen  from 
the  older  children  of  the  chapel,  in  order  of  seniority. 
Of  the  latter  there  were  eight.  They  were  boarded, 
lodged,  and  taught  singing  and  the  use  of  the  u  or- 
gaines"  by  a  master  of  song  appointed  for  that  purpose. 
Arrived  at  the  age  of  eighteen  years,  "  and  their  voyces 
changed,"  they  were  sent  at  the  charge  of  the  king  to 
Oxford  or  Cambridge,  until  the  king  "  may  otherwise 
advaunce  them."  Finally,  this  curious  document  men- 
tions the  duties  of  the  Master  of  the  "Gramere  Schole," 
who  was  to  be  skilled  in  poetry,  grammar,  music,  etc. 
If  such  master  was  also  a  priest,  he  had  to  sing  "our 
Lady  Masse,  in  the  king's  chapel,  or  else  read  the 
gospel,  and  be  at  the  great  procession."  He  was 
allowed  livery  for  his  horses,  and  permitted  to  keep 
"  one  honest  servant." 

This  charter  restores  to  the  king's  minstrels  a 
"  Fraternity,  or  perpetual  guild — such  as,  it  is  under- 
stood, the  brothers  and  sisters  of  the  fraternity  of 
minstrels  held  in  times  past.  The  marshal  and  two 
wardens  were  authorized  to  examine  the  pretensions  of 
those  who  exercised  the  minstrel  profession,  and  to 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

regulate,  govern,  and  punish  (where  necessary)  all  such 
persons,  excepting  only  those  of  Chester,"  who,  as  we 
have  before  seen,  were  specially  chartered.  A  new 
office  appears  to  have  been  created  during  Edward  IV.'s 
reign,  for  there  is  mention  of  a  "Serjeant  of  Minstrels." 
This  was  held  by  one  Alexander  Carlile.  The  con- 
fidential character  of-  the  appointment,  it  is  said,  is 
shown  by  the  fact  of  the  Serjeant  having  access  to  the 
king's  chamber  at  all  times.  The  following  anecdote  is 
preserved  from  a  fragment  quoted  by  Hearne1: — "And 
as  he  was  in  the  north  contray  in  the  moneth  of 
Septembre,  as  he  laye  in  his  bedde,  one  named  Alex- 
ander Carlisle,  that  was  sarjaunt  of  the  mynstrallis, 
cam  to  him  in  grete  haste,  and  bade  him  aryse,  for  he 
hadde  enemys  cummyng  for  to  take  him,  the  which 
were  within  vi.  or  vii.  mylis,  -of  the  which  tydinges  the 
king  gretely  marveylid."  This  incident  is  of  the  same 
year  as  the  charter  just  quoted,  and  it  is  somewhat 
singular  that  the  Serjeant  is  not  anywhere  referred  to. 

The  importance  of  this  period  is  sufficiently  marked 
when  it  is  remembered  that  in  1469  Caxton's  Morte 
d 'Arthur  appeared.  Another  instance,  smaller  in  its 
significance  but  more  directly  bearing  on  our  subject, 
is  the  foundation  of  the  Musicians'  Company  of  the 
City  of  London,  the  charter  of  which  is  no  other  than 
that  already  described  above,  under  the  mastership  of 
Walter  Haliday.  It  may  not  be  improper  to  observe 
that  this  Company,  with  its  rich  endowment,  is,  at  the 
time  of  writing,  doing  much  to  encourage  that  art 
1  Sprotti  Chron.y  ed.  Hearne.  Oxford,  1719. 


which  in  olden  times  it  was  the  privilege  of  kings  to 
make  or  to  mar. 

The  first  music-printing  is  understood  to  have  been 
the  Gregorian  tunes  issued  by  Hans  Froschauer  at 
Augsburg  in  1473.  Previously  spaces  were  left,  or 
only  a  printed  stave  offered,  for  the  music-character  to 
be  afterwards  inserted  by  hand.  Higden's  Polychroni- 
con — from  the  press  of  Caxton's  pupil,  Wynken  de 
Worde — was  issued  from  Westminster  in  1495, — im- 
portant to  England  as  the  first  native  production  of  the 
kind.  With  these  brief  data,  we  must  pass  on  to  the 
concluding  portion  of  our  sketch.  It  cannot,  however, 
be  too  clearly  borne  in  mind  that  the  advent  of  the 
printing  art  was  of  immense  influence  in  sealing  the  fate 
of  the  wandering  minstrel.  His  productions  began  to 
appear  ridiculous  by  the  side  of  the  well  thought-out 
and  polished  performance  of  the  writers  of  romance  and 
lyric  verse.  The  old  minstrel  could  play  and  sing,  but 
he  could  not  read  or  write.  The  people  were  now  be- 
ginning to  read,1  and  many  of  the  older  pieces  were  re- 
cast and  re-polished  that  they  might  bear  the  test  of  the 
eye,  as  well  as  the  ear.  This  seems  to  have  been  the  last 
effort  of  the  better  class  of  minstrel ;  while  his  brethren 
of  the  poorer  sort,  who  flourished  in  spite  of  the  royal 
charters,  quickly  degenerated  into  absolute  vagrancy. 

1  "Nowadays,"  writes  Aubrey,  "books  are  common,  and  most  of 
the  poor  people  understand  letters;  and  the  many  good  books  and 
variety  of  turns  of  affairs,  have  put  all  the  old  fables  out  of  doors. 
And  the  divine  art  of  printing  and  gunpowder  have  frightened  away 
Robin  Goodfellow  and  the  fairies.'* 

113  I 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

The  class  of  men  who  now  enter  into  our  story  were 
retainers  of  the  nobility  and  gentry.  Every  great 
family  had  its  band  of  musicians,  who  still  went  by  the 
name  of  Minstrels,  though  the  order  was  becoming 
widely  separated  from  its  original  stock. 

The  household  book  of  Sir  John  Howard  gives 
numerous  details  of  music  and  musicians.  Thus,  we 
read  that  the  three  following  were  employed 
SHrJohn  as  sing.ers  :_Nicholas  Stapylton,  William 
Minstrels  Lyndsey,  and  "Little  Richard,"  in  addition 
to  six  children  of  the  chapel.  The  chief 
minstrel  was  no  doubt  Thomas  ''the  harperd."  Many 
others  of  the  order  were  employed,  in  accordance  with 
the  custom  of  the  time,  when  Sir  John  visited  or  took 
his  journeys.  Mention  is  also  made  of  the  son  of 
John  Colet  of  Colchester,  living  with  William  Wastell, 
harper,  of  London,  who  was  to  prepare  the  youth  for 
service  as  a  harper  in  the  said  establishment. 

"The  Battle  of  Otterburn"  and  "Chevy  Chase"— 
two  of  the  surviving  ballads  of  the  period  1460-1500 — 
may  be  regarded  as  genuine  minstrel  songs,  originally 
written  for  and  sung  to  the  harp.  "Chevy  Chase"  was 
first  printed  by  Hearne  at  the  end  of  his  edition  of 
William  of  Newborough.  It  was  preserved  by  Richard 
Sheale,  a  minstrel  living  in  1548.  Much  confusion  has 
arisen  by  a  mistake  (which  seems  to  have  originated 
with  Addison1)  in  supposing  Sheale's  version  to  be  the 
popular  one.  A  reference  to  Percy's  Reliques  will  show 
that  the  original  form  preserved  by  Sheale  begins  thus — 
1  Spectator,  70  and  74. 

"Chevy  Chase" 

"The  Perse  owt  of  Northumberlande, 
And  a  vowe  to  God  made  he, 
That  he  wolde  hunte  in  the  mountayns 
Off  Chyviat  within  dayes  thre." 

And  it  is  of  this  ballad  that  Sir  Philip  Sydney  spoke 
when  he  exclaimed,  "Certainly,  I  must  confess  my  own 
barbarousness ;  I  never  heard  the  old  song  of  Percy  and 
Douglas,  that  I  found  not  my  heart  moved  more  than 
with  a  trumpet ;  and  yet  it  is  sung  but  by  some  blind 
crowder  with  no  rougher  voice  than  rude  style,  which 
being  so  evil  apparelled  in  the  dust  and  cobweb  of  that 
uncivil  age,  what  would  it  work  trimmed  in  the  gor- 
geous eloquence  of  Pindar?"  To  the  modern  and  more 
widely  known  version  of  this  ballad  we  shall  presently 

The  air  to  which  the  ballad  was  sung  is  one  of  the 
most  famous  in  all  our  minstrelsy,  and,  in  accordance 
with  a  common  custom,  was  used  for  numberless  other 
ballads  which  had  no  tune  of  their  own.  For  example, 
in  Philips'  Old  Ballads  (1723)  this  air,  known  as 
"Flying  Fame,"  does  duty  for  the  following  pieces: — 
"King  Alfred  and  the  Shepherd,"  "King  Leir  and  his 
3  Daughters,"  "King  Arthur  and  the  Round  Table," 
"Battle  of  Agincourt,"  "The  Union  of  Red  and  White 
Rose,"  "Roman  Charity,"  "Alfonso  and  Ganselo," 
"The  Wanton  Wife  of  Bath,"  and  the  original  ballad 
of  Chevy  Chase  itself.1 

1  Other  ballads  to  the  same  tune  are  "The  Gentleman  in  Thracia, 
"  When  as  King  Henry  rul'd  this  land,"  "  When  Arthur  first  in  court 
began,"  and  "The  Belgick  Boar." 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 





j  a  "  , 


God  pros -per  long  our   no-bleKing,  Our  lives  and  safeties        all,          A 

wos-ful  hunt  -ing  once  there  did    In     Che  -vy  Chase  be     -    fal 

We  give  a  simple  harmonization  of  the  air.  Many 
versions  of  the  tune  exist.  The  above  appears  to  be  its 
most  dignified  form.  Perhaps  the  'worst  is  that  printed 
as  the  first  piece  in  Pills  to  Purge  Melancholy^  vol. 
iv.  (1719),  headed  "Three  Children  sliding  on  the 
Thames.  Tune  :  Chivy-Chase,"  in  this  way  — 

Having  spoiled  the  tune,  Durfey  proceeds  to  put  forth 
the  following  doggerel:— 

"Some  Christian  people  all  give  ear 
Unto  the  grief  of  us, 

Caus'd  by  the  death  of  three  children  dear, 
The  which  it  happen'd  thus." 

"John  Dory" 

The  air  makes  its  reappearance  on  page  289  of  the 
same  volume,  in  association  with  the  modernization  of 
the  original  ballad,  the  first  verse  of  which  has  already 
been  quoted.  One  cannot  help  wondering  if  the 
minstrels  of  old  gave  the  complete  270  verses  at  one 
audience!  Curiously  enough,  the  air  crops  up  for  the 
third  and  last  time  at  page  326  of  the  same  volume, 
now  degraded  into  "A  Warning  to  all  Custard  Eaters." 
There  we  take  leave  of  it. 

Of  about  the  same  period,  and  of  scarcely  less  popu- 
larity, was  the  old  ballad  of  "John  Dory,"  whose  exploits 
appear  to  have  been  entirely  mythical.  Dryden,  in  one 
of  his  lampoons,  refers  to  it  as  the  most  hackneyed 
thing  of  the  time.  (See  Ritson's  Ancient  Songs ;  1792). 
The  music  to  this  singular  ditty  is  to  be  found  in  its 
best  form  in  Ravenscroft's  Deuteromelia  (1609);  another 
version  is  in  Playford's  Musical  Companion  (1687),  and 
the  early  editions  of  Pills  to  Purge  Melancholy. 

/L  O 

_f/rS   /|       3 

HI     .^  ,.c. 

»   1  (•>     J    J  s: 



—  (  1~ 

.\jj  **•   "•* 

*                  it        -•    «-»        |  - 


rJ     J 

!     J 


V  -«- 

it    fell  on     a      ho-  li-day  And  up  - 

—  «  ra  m     *  .   P    ?  P 

on     a 


O      iP 

ho  -  ly 

•x       f*j   * 


-1  1     1     M 

_j  1  1 

tide         a,    John    Do-  ry  bought  him  an    am-blingnag,    To 

Pa  -.  ris  for    to    ride       a,   To    Pa  -  ris  for    to     ride       a. 

[The  mark  *  shows  where  the  second  and  third  voices  enter.] 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

"  And  when  John  Dory  to  Paris  was  come, 
A  little  before  the  gate  a, 
John  Dory  was  fitted,  the  porter  was  witted, 
To  let  him  in  thereat  a. 

"  The  first  man  that  John  Dory  did  meet 
Was  good  King  John  of  France  a ; 
John  Dory  could  well  of  his  courtesie, 
But  fell  downe  in  a  trance  a. 

"  A  pardon,  a  pardon,  my  Liege  and  my  King, 
For  my  merie  men  and  for  me  a ; 
And  all  the  churles  in  merie  England, 
He  bring  them  all  bound  to  thee  a. 

"  And  Nicholl  was  then  a  Cornish  man, 
A  little  beside  Bohide  a ; 
And  he  made  forth  a  good  blacke  barke, 
With  fifty  good  oares  on  a  side  a. 

"  Run  up  my  boy  unto  the  maine  top, 
And  looke  what  thou  canst  spie  a. 
Who  ho !  who  ho !  a  goodly  ship  I  do  see, 
1  trow  it  be  John  Dory  a. 

"  They  hoist  their  sailes,  both  top  and  top, 
The  meisseine  and  all  was  tide  a ; 
And  every  man  stood  to  his  lot, 
Whatever  should  betide  a. 

"  The  roring  cannons  then  were  plide, 
And  dub  a  dub  went  the  drumme  a ; 
The  braying  trumpets  lowd  they  crie, 
To  courage  both  and  all  a. 

"  When   Fidlers  sing  at  Feasts " 

"  The  grapling  hooks  were  brought  at  length, 
The  browne  bill  and  the  sword  a ; 
John  Dory  at  length,  for  all  his  strength, 
Was  clapt  fast  under  board  a." 

Many  are  the  allusions  to  this  old  ballad,  which,  if 
it  could  be  traced,  might  date  back  to  the  time  of 
Henry  VI.  Dryden  refers  to  it  thus — 

"  But  Sunderland,  Godolphin,  Lory, 
These  will  appear  such  chits  in  story, 
'Twill  turn  all  politics  to  jests, 
To  be  repeated  like  John  Dory, 
When  fidlers  sing  at  feasts." 

Apart  from  the  antiquity  of  the  piece,  it  must  be 
confessed  that  there  is  small  merit  in  either  words  or 
music;  yet  it  so  held  the  popular  taste  as  to  survive 
some  two  centuries,  and  the  last  we  hear  of  the  ballad 
is  in  the  time  of  Charles  II. 



Tudor  period — Henry  VII.'s  household  expenses— "  Westron  Wynde" 
— First  dramatic  music — Robin  Hood — Henry  VIII. — "  Passe- 
tyme  " — Maying— Court  music — Freemen's  songs— Puttenham — 
Charter  renewed — Tusser — Wolsey — Anne  Boleyn — "The  Hunt 
is  up" — Ghostly  psalms — Reformation — Suppression  of  monas- 
teries— Bow  Bells — University  influence — Henry  VII I. 's  obsequies. 

THE  Tudor  period,  upon  which  we  are  now  entered, 
is  most  important,  generally  considered,  though  the 
reign  of  Henry  VII.  in  particular  is  far  from 
(  ^^  \  being  rich  in  recorded  incident.  Music's 
annals  can  show  nothing  sensational,  such 
as  the  discovery  of  a  new  continent.  The  art,  how- 
ever, was  not  without  its  inventions,  for  in  1498  music 
was  first  printed  with  movable  types.  Josquin  des 
Pres  was  at  the  height  of  his  fame  ;  Mouton  was  as  yet 
a  student;  and  the  old  master,  Ockenheim,  was  still 
in  the  land  of  the  living.  With  the  close  of  the 
fifteenth  century  the  race  of  the  Minnesingers  ceased. 
The  year  1494  witnessed  the  birth  of  the  redoubtable 
Hans  Sachs,  cobbler  of  Nuremberg  and  Mastersinger, 
whose  extant  works  number  over  six  thousand. 

After  his  decisive  victory  at  Bosworth  Field,  Henry 
VII.  settled  down  to  a  policy  which,  if  characterized 
by  rapacity  and  extortion,  still  permitted  the  peaceful 
arts  to  expand  and  develop  under  his  protection  and 

1 20 

Recorders  and  Stryng  Mynstrels 

encouragement.  To  judge  from  the  long  catalogue 
of  musicians  and  musical  instruments,  says  the  editor 
of  his  household  book,  the  king's  love  of  music  must 
have  been  great.  In  every  town  he  entered,  as  well 
as  on  board  the  ship  which  conveyed  him  to  Calais, 
he  was  attended  by  minstrels  and  waits.  Among  the 
first  of  these  entries  of  household  expenses  we  read — 

1492.— Feb.  4th.     To  the  childe  that  playeth 

on  the  records  (recorders)  -        -        -        -   £i    o    o 

Another  payment  in  August  of  the  same  year  reads — 

August  ist.    At  Canterbury.    To  the  children 

for  singing  in  the  gardyn     -        -        -        -.£034 

Then  there  are  these — 

To  the  maydens  of  Lambeth  for  a  May      -        -   £o  10    o 
For  playing  of  the  Mourice  Daunce  -        -        -200 

Morrice  and  May  dances  claim  numerous  payments. 
On  May  2ist,  1501,  the  king  expended  135.  4d.  on 
a  lute  for  the  Lady  Margaret,  his  twelve-year-old 
daughter,  afterwards  Queen  of  Scots.  In  the  same 
year  (December  4th)  a  payment  is  recorded  "To  the 
Princesse  stryng  mynstrels  at  Westminster,  £2."  An 
early  entry  records  a  special  fee  of  133.  4d.  "to 
the  Queresters  at  Paule's  and  St.  Steven."  Newark 
(probably  William  Newark)  received  £i  "for  making 
a  song";  Cornysshe  "for  a  prophecy,  in  rewarde 
133.  4d.";  and  Burton,  for  making  a  Masse,  £i.  An 
interesting  note  occurs  under  1495  (November  27th), 
when  we  read  that  one  "Hampton  of  Wourcestre,  for 
making  of  Balades,  in  rewarde"  received  £i.  A  few 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

of  the  entries  are  mere  extravagancies,  such  as  "To 
a  Priest  that  wrestelled  at  Ceceter,  6s.  8d.,"  or  the 
payment  of  £2  "to  the  gentlemen  of  the  king's 
chapel,  'for  to  drinke  with  a  bucke."1  There  are 
many  other  sums  mentioned  as  paid  to  the  Waytes 
of  Dover,  Canterbury,  and  Coventry.  The  minstrels 
of  Sandwich,  bagpipyers,  harpers,  and  rymers  are 
further  included  in  this  roll,  which,  however,  vouch- 
safes no  further  particulars  of  interest. 

WESTRON  WYNDE.*  (15^  Century.) 

Wes-tronwynde,when  wilt     thou    blow?  The  small  rain 


down  can  rain !     O    gen-tie  death,  when  wilt  thou  come  ?  For 

: 1          I        I     re  .  i   '  !— i 1 1  ^ 

•    ^     J 

I        of    my  life       am    wea        -        -        -  ry. 

A  manuscript  book  of  songs,  written  on  vellum  for 
the  Prince  of  Wales  (Pepysian  Library,  Magdalene 
College,  Cambridge,  No.  87),  preserves  many  of  the 
compositions  of  Henry  VII. 's  time  by  English  and 
foreign  musicians.  Hawkins  and  Burney  both  give 
extracts  from  a  fifteenth-century  quarto  (Add.  MSS. 

1  John  Taverner  wrote  a  Mass  on  this  melody,  preserved  in  a  six- 
teenth-century octavo  volume  in  the  British  Museum.  (See  add.  MSS. 
17802,  fol.  250.) 


"  Tyme  to  pas  with  Goodly  Sport " 

5465)  in  the  British  Museum.  Our  example  is  of  a 
popular  song  which  has  come  down  to  us  from  an 
old  MS.  in  the  same  Library.1 

During  Henry  VI I. 's  reign  moralities  and  religious 
pageantry  reached  the  high-water  mark.  "This  sort 
of  spectacle,"  says  Warton,  "was  now  so  fashionable 
that  John  Rastall,  a  learned  typographer,  brother-in- 
law  to  Sir  John  More,  extended  its  province,  which 
had  hitherto  been  confined  either  to  moral  allegory  or 
to  religion  blended  with  buffoonery,  and  conceived  a 
design  of  making  it  the  vehicle  of  science  and  philo- 
sophy. With  this  view  he  published  "A 
New  Interlude  and  a  mery,  of  the  nature 
of  the  iiii  Elements,  declaringe  many  proper  points  of 
philosophy  naturall  and  divers  straunge  landys,  etc." 
This  work  is  of  great  interest  to  musicians  owing  to 
the  fact  that  it  contains  the  earliest  known  specimen  of 
English  dramatic  music.  So  remarkable  a  piece  calls 
for  quotation.  Here  it  is — 

S-,  —  —  U- 



—  1  —  1  —  \- 


^y         '  VJ    .   *'*•' 

Tyme   to 

pas  with 


d  -  ly    sp< 



Q1         fJ  




i    1     ! 

1    j 

XnP(*     ^ 

1   ffac 

n         _J 


:  \-m  i* 

rj_\  r  • 

O             f^ 

*  0  rJ 

_c?  .  . 

-^—m  fi— 

i  1  pLJ 


*/          ^ 


JP,!—  I 
-   i       1 

(?V)  • 


-4-  1  —  \- 

—  H  —  i 

2§iEEi  — 

3  —  i  - 

—  ]  —  K 

4  *.d 



1  Append,  to  Royal  MSS.  58,  fol.  3. 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 



i     i 

I  '  — 

-j  —  F8]  — 

—  1  

t—  H 



to     re 

rt  n  
-  vyve         and 

'  —  & 




n  -  fort, 



1  o           r 




A  (- 



—  -iljW 


—  !  — 


—  L3  —  ^ 


-^  j-41 


To       pipe,       to      singe,      to      daunce,      to         spryng 


"  The  Four  Elements  " 



t ± 



"This  is  copied,"  says  Stafford  Smith,  "from  the 
Interlude  of  the  Four  Elements,  etc.,  by  I.  Rastel, 
among  Garrick's  Plays,  British  Museum,  bound  with 
Rastel's  abridgements  of  the  Statutes,  first  impression, 
dated  October  25th,  nth  Henry  VIII.  It  is  probably 
the  first  printed  score  or  partition  in  this  kingdom." 
The  heading  reads,  "The  Dauncers  Syng  a  Song." 
Beneath  the  music  is  the  note — u  This  may  be  seyde 
for  nede."  The  directions  after  the  song  run  thus — 
"Then  Sensual  Apetite  syngeth  a  song  and  daunceth 
withall,  and  evermore  maketh  countenance  accordyng 
to  the  mater,  and  all  the  other  aunswer,  '  Daunce  we, 
praunce  we,  etc.'  " 

Masques  had  not  long  come  in.     An  account  of  the 
first  so  called  is  thus  given  by  Edward  Hall,  who  may 
have    been    an    eye-witness — "On    the  day 
of  the    Epiphany  at   night,   the   king   with 
eleven  others,  was  disguised  after  the  manner  of  Italy, 
called  a  Maske,  a  thing  not  seen  before  in  England. 
They  were  apparalled    in    garments    long   and   broad, 
wrought  all  with  gold,  with  visors  and  caps  of  gold. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

And  after  the  banquet  done,  these  maskers  came  in, 
with  six  gentlemen  disguised  in  silk,  bearing  staff- 
torches,  and  desired  the  ladies  to  dance.  Some  were 
content  and  some  refused.  And  after  they  had  danced 
and  communed  together,  as  the  fashion  of  the  maske 
is,  they  took  their  leave  and  departed;  and  so  did  the 
queen  and  all  the  ladies."  The  chief  feature  of  this 
class  of  entertainment  was  a  carefully  planned  surprise. 
Much  of  the  early  machinery  of  the  pantomime  was 
employed.  Dancing,  of  course,  formed  a  part,  and 
the  masque  proper  was  nothing  more  or  less  than  a 
spectacular  action  carried  out  in  dumb  show. 

"A  little  Geste  of  Robin  Hood"  printed  in  Fleet 
Street  by  Wynken  de  Worde,  like  the  modern  copy  of 
"  Chevy  Chase,"  affords  an  instance  of  old  minstrelsy 
subjected  to  the  refining  influences  of  writing  and 
printing.  No  air  is  known  in  connection  with  this  fine 
old  ballad ;  but  it  would  be  possible  to  sing  it  to 
"  Flying  Fame,"  just  as  was  the  older  ballad.  A 
whole  collection  of  Robin  Hood  ballads  was  issued  by 
Chepman  and  Myllar  in  Edinburgh  about  the  year 
1506.  The  importance  of  these  early  pieces  cannot 
be  over-estimated  when  it  is  remembered  that  few 
we  possess  can  be  placed  further  back  than  the  time 
of  Elizabeth. 

It  remains  to  add  that  during  Henry  VI I. 's  reign 
monastic  education  was  fast  falling  into  neglect.  No 
less  than  twenty  grammar  schools  in  addition  to 
several  university  colleges  were  founded,  and  there  is 
no  doubt  that  in  all  of  these  music  was  cultivated  to 


Henry  VIII. 

some  extent.  Doubtless,  one  of  the  most  enduring 
monuments  of  the  period  is  that  mentioned  by  Stow  in 
the  following1  words  : — 

"King  Henry  the  Seventh,  in  the  yeere  1502,  bestowed 
14000  pounds  on  the  East  side  [of  Westminster  Abbey],  where 
he  built  a  Chappell  of  admirable  beauty  (which  „ 

Leland  calles  The  Miracle  of  the  World  ;  for  any  / 

man  that  sees  it,  may' well  say,  that  all  elegancy  of          _, 
workemanship  and  matter  is  couched  in  it)  to  be  a 
place  of  Sepulture  for  himselfe,  and  all  his  posterity;  wherein 
(at  this  day)  is  to  bee  scene  his  owne  Tombe,  most  gorgeous 
and  great,  made  all  of  solid  Brasse." 

"  Men  might  say, 

Till  this  time  pomp  was  single,  but  now  married 
To  one  above  itself." 

—Henry  VIII.,  Act  I.  Sc.  i. 

With  the  ascension  of  Henry  VIII.  to  the  throne,  a 
new  and  important  epoch  is   begun.     He  was  in   his 
eighteenth    year,   and    was    well-skilled    in 
music.     Being  the  younger  of  two  brothers,  Henry 

his  chance  of  the  throne  was  thought  remote,  ( 

and  it  is  understood  that  he  was  originally 
qualifying  for  the  post  of  Archbishop  of  Canterbury. 
However  this  may  be,  there  is  no  doubt  that  Henry 
could  both  sing  and  play,  as  well  as  write  music.  Lord 
Herbert  of  Cherbury  (Henry's  biographer)  speaks  of 
two  complete  services  by  his  royal  master.  There  is  a 
three-part  serenade  beginning  "Quam  pulchra  es "  in 
Hawkins'  History.  Mention  may  also  be  made  of 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

the  anthem  or  motet  "O  Lord,  the  maker  of  each 
thing,"  which,  on  the  authority  of  Dr.  Aldrich,  is  by 
Henry  VIII.  Among  the  MSS.  in  the  British  Museum 
there  are  the  originals  of  the  famous  "  Passetyme 
with  Goode  Company"  (or  "The  Kynge's  Balade")  and 
eighteen  songs  and  fifteen  instrumental  pieces  also 
from  the  royal  and  august  pen.  Henry's  diversions  (to 
quote  Hollinshed)  included  daily  exercise  "in  shooting, 
singing,  dancing,  wrestling,  casting  of  the  bar,  playing 
at  the  recorders,  flute,  virginals,  in  setting  of  songs 
and  making  of  ballads."  We  shall  proceed  to  give  an 
example  of  this  gifted  monarch's  powers: — 




Pas  -  time  with  good  com 

pa  -  ny       I    love,      and 




1  ...  ZZj 

_J     J 


shall    un 

-     til       I 

I-M  —  }^_i  1  1  v^^_»*  « 

die;  Grudge  who  will,  but      none     de  - 

Jr  fr  


1  1  

*  --  - 








CJ    • 

/^»  •         <^>   1 

^r%  —  - 

-&  *  F    Q 


f^  . 

-^J  —  H 


M  —  M— 

'  Ipli 


1  i 


Passetyme  " 

ny,          So      God       be       pleas      -      ed         this     life  will 




35  =  —  \~ 

i  n 

<T3         1-1       <*J     " 

I          For 

my    pas  - 

tance,    Hunt,  sing  and 

dance,     My 

-^s^j  —  j- 





^"0  c^ 


_  o  ei-j  a_ 

I    I  1 

heart is       set,  All    good  -  ly       sport,         To 



Story  of  Minstrelsy 



—  /5  —  ?^~ 

TD  ^  





my    com  -fort,     Who      shall 


2  —  ' 






(t?)r3    r^> 





r^   1    1 




Youth  will  needs  have  dalliance, 
Or  good  or  ill  some  pastance  ; 
Company  me  thinketh  best 
All  thoughts  and  fantasies  to  digest. 

For  idleness 

Is  chief  mistress 

Of  vices  all ; 

Then  who  can  say 

But  pass  the  day 

Is  best  of  all? 


Company  with  honesty 
Is  virtue  and  vice  to  flee. 
Company  is  good  or  ill, 
But  every  man  has  his  free  will. 

The  best  I  sue, 

The  worst  eschew  ; 

My  mind  shall  be 

Virtue  to  use, 

Vice  to  refuse, 

I  shall  use  me. 


The  popularity  of  this  royal  hymn  is  well  shown  by 
the  number  of  MSS.  which  contain  one  or  another  form 
of  it.  As  these  differ,  the  text  is  founded  on  what 
appeared  the  most  musical  version — namely,  the 
Additional  MS.  5665,  fol.  133  (British  Museum).  The 
notes  are  copied  exactly,  but  the  bar  lines  were  not  in 
the  original,  and  the  voice  parts  were  written,  not  in 
score,  but  one  after  the  other,  in  the  manner  usual  in  the 
sixteenth  century. 

"  In  the  Moneth  of  May — namely,  on  May-day  in  the 
morning1,  every  man,  except  impediment,  would  walke 
into  the  sweete  meddowes  and  green  woods,  there  to 
rejoice  their  spirits  with  the  beauty  and  savour  of  sweet 
flowers,  and  with  the  harmony  of  birds,  praysing  God 
in  their  kind.  And  for  example  hereof,  Edward  Hall 
hath  noted,  that  King  Henry  the  8  as  in  the  3  of  his 
reigne,  and  divers  other  yeeres,  so  namely  in  the 
seventh  of  his  reigne,  on  May-day  in  the  morning,  with 
Queen  Katherine  his  wife,  accompanied  with  many 
Lords  and  Ladies,  rode  a  Maying  from  Greenwitch  to 
the  high  ground  of  Shooters-hill,  whereas  they  passed 
by  the  way,  they  espied  a  company  of  tall  yeomen 
cloathed  all  in  greene,  with  green  whoods,  and  with 
bowes  and  arrows,  to  the  number  of  200.  One  being 
their  chieftaine,  was  called  Robin  Hood,1  who  required 
the  king  and  all  his  company  to  stay  and  see  his  men 
shoote ;  whereunto  the  king  granting,  Robin  Hood 
whistled  and  all  the  two  hundred  archers  shot  off, 

1  Not,  of  course,  the  original  Robin  Hood,  who  was  famous  in 
Edward  III. 's  day. 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

loosing  all  at  once,  and  when  hee  whistled  againe,  they 
likewise  shot  againe,  their  arrowes  whistled  by  craft  of 
the  head,  so  that  the  noyse  was  strange  and  loud,  which 
greatly  delighted  the  King,  Queen,  and  their  company. 

"  Moreover,  this  Robin  Hood  desired  the  King  and 
Queene,  with  their  retinue,  to  enter  the  greene  Wood, 
where,  in  Arbours  made  with  boughes,  and  decked  with 
flowers,  they  were  set  and  served  plentifully  with 
venison  and  wine,  by  Robin  Hood  and  his  meyny,  to 
their  great  contentment,  and  had  other  Pageants  and 
Pastimes,  as  ye  may  reade  in  my  said  Author. 

"I  find  also,  that  in  the  Moneth  of  May,  the  Citizens 
of  London  (of  all  estates)  lightly  in  every  parish,  or 
sometimes  two  or  three  Parishes  joining  together,  had 
their  several  Mayings,  and  did  fetch  in  Maypoles,  with 
divers  warlike  shewes,  with  good  Archers,  Morice- 
dauncers,  and  other  devices  for  pastime  all  the  day 
long  ;  and  towards  the  evening,  they  had  Stage-playes, 
and  Bonfiers  in  the  streets."1 

After  the  May-day  celebrations  at  Greenwich  in  1515, 
dinner  being  over,  a  large  company  adjourned  to  certain 
rooms  in  the  palace  where  were  a  number  of  organs, 
virginals,  flutes,  etc.  Here  the  Secretary  to  the 
Venetian  Embassy,  Signer  Sagudino,  played  with 
notable  skill  upon  both  virginals  and  organ.  The 
prelates  present  informed  him  that  the  king  would 
certainly  expect  him  to  play  in  his  Majesty's  own 
apartment,  and  that  their  royal  master  practised  music 
both  day  and  night.  A  contemporary  writer  adds  that 
1  Stow1 's  Survey,  pp.  150-51,  ed.  1618,  Blackletter. 

"Greater  and  Lesser  Pardon" 

his  Majesty  "plays  well  on  the  lute  and  virginals,  and 
sings  from  book  at  sight."  A  monarch  so  predisposed 
towards  the  art  could  not  but  have  a  powerful  influence 
in  spreading  and  developing  its  resources.  The  court 
music  was  now  in  a  flourishing  state,  as  we 

may  see  from  the  opinion  of  Pasqualigo  of  5!°"!* 

i7     •  u       \.    j     i_  u  Music 

Venice, — an     ambassador    who    had    held 

appointments  in  the  principal  capitals  of  Europe.  "We 
attended  Mass,"  writes  he,  "which  was  chanted  by  the 
Bishop  of  Durham,  with  a  superb  and  noble  descant 
choir."  To  this,  the  secretary  above-mentioned  adds — 
"High  Mass  was  chaunted,  and  it  was  sung  by  his 
Majesty's  choristers,  whose  voices  are  really  rather 
divine  than  human;  they  did  not  chaunt,  but  sung  like 
angels;  and  as  for  the  deep  bass  voices,  I  do  not  think 
they  have  their  equals  in  the  world."  An  incident 
related  concerning  Thomas  Cromwell  (afterwards  Earl 
of  Essex)  introduces  us  to  mention  of  the  Three-man's 
(or  Freeman's)  Song,  a  favourite  English  composition 
of  the  period.  Cromwell  journeyed  from  Antwerp  to 
Rome  to  obtain  from  Pope  Julius  II.  a  renewal  of  the 
"greater  and  lesser  pardon"  for  the  town  of  Boston. 
He  was  loth  to  spend  much  time,  and  still  more  loth  to 
waste  his  money,  among  "the  greedy  cormorants  of  the 
Pope's  court."1  The  ordinary  diplomatic  channels  being 
thus  closed,  Cromwell's  arts  were  directed  towards 
captivating  the  papal  ear  and  palate.  Having,  therefore, 
prepared  certain  rare  dishes,  Cromwell's  men  bearing 
these  advanced,  singing  a  "three-man's  song"  the 
1  See  Fox(?s  Acts  and  Monuments. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

while,  and  proffered  them  to  the  Pope,  who  had  just  re- 
turned from  hunting.  The  success  of  the  ruse  flattered 
its  author's  knowledge  of  men;  for  as  soon  as  his  Holi- 
ness perceived  the  musicians  coming  not  empty-handed, 
he  inquired  as  to  the  gift  and  its  meaning.  His  cardinal 
first  tasted  and  approved ;  after  him  the  Pope,  who  was 
so  pleased  that,  "  without  any  more  ado,  he  stamped 
both  their  pardons,  as  well  the  greater  as  the  lesser." 

Our  knowledge  of  the  "  three-man's  song"  is  chiefly 
derived  from  Ravenscroft's  fine  collection,  entitled — 
Deuteromelia ;  or,  the  second  part  of  Musicke's  Melodie, 
or  melodious  musicke  of  pleasant  roundelay es.  K(ing) 
H (enry's)  Mirth  or  Freemen's  Songs"  ( 1 6 1 1 ) .  Doubtless 
"Three-men's  Songs"  was  the  original  description, 
softened  in  practice  to  "Freemen's";  just  as  thills 
(wagon-shafts)  became  Jills,  and  Thrift  St.  changed  to 
Frith  St.  Such  songs  were  in  use  in  the  time  of  Henry 
VI.,  being  for  any  number  of  voices — though  three  and 
six  were  most  usual.1  Thus,  in  the  "  Turnament  of 
Tottenham"  (circa  1456),  there  is  the  following: — 

"Mekyl  myrth  was  them  amang; 
In  every  corner  of  the  house 
Was  melody  delycyous, 
For  to  her  precyus 
Of  six  menys  sang." 

1  In  Vo well's  Life  of  Sir  Peter  Carew  we  read— "For  the  king 
himself  being  much  delighted  to  sing,  and  Sir  Peter  Carew  having  a 
pleasant  voice,  the  king  would  often  use  him  to  sing  with  him  certain 
songs  they  call  Freemen  Songs,  as  namely,  'By  the  banke  as  I  lay,'  and 
'As  I  walked  the  wode  so  wylde.'" 


Cantabanqui " 

Quite  apart  from  the  minstrels  in  regular  employment, 
such  as  might  be  expected  to  take  part  in  ordinary 
entertainments,  a  large  number  of  men  abounded  in  the 
time  of  Henry  VIII.  who  sought  their  living  by  stories, 
rhymes,  and  moral  speeches,  either  for  singing  or 
recitation,  delivered  in  the  taverns  and  places  of 
popular  resort.  Nor  were  these  people  content  with 
such  a  sphere  for  their  performances;  they  pushed 
into  the  houses  of  the  great — "Irrumpunt  in  convivia 
Magnatum,"  says  Erasmus — and  expected  the  treat- 
ment accorded  the  fully  recognized  minstrel  order. 
Puttenham  no  doubt  had  this  class  of  person  in  mind 
when  writing  of  "small  and  popular  musickes,  song  by 
these  Cantabanqui  upon  benches  and  barrels-heads, 
where  they  have  none  other  audience  than  boys  or 
countrey  fellowes  that  passe  by  them  in  the  streete,  or 
else  by  blind  harpers  or  such  like  tavern  minstrels,  that 
give  a  fit  of  mirth  for  a  groat,  and  their  matters  being 
for  the  most  part  stories  of  old  time,  as  the  tale  of 
Sir  Topas,  the  reports  of  Bevis  of  Southampton,  Guy  of 
Warwicke,  Adam  Bell,  and  Clymme  of  the  Clough,  and 
other  such  old  romances  or  historical  rhymes,  made 
purposely  for  recreation  of  the  common  people  at 
Christmasse  dinners  and  brideales,  and  in  taverns  and 
alehouses,  and  such  other  places  of  base  resort ;  also 
they  be  used  in  carols  and  rounds,  and  such  light 
poems,  which  are  commonly  more  commodiously  uttered 
by  these  buffoons  in  plays  than  by  any  other  person. 
Such  were  the  rhymes  of  Skelton  (usurping  the  name 
of  a  poet  laureate)  ;  being  indeed  but  a  rude  railing 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

rhymer  and  all  his  doings  ridiculous,  he  used  both  short 
distaunces  (periods)  and  short  measures,  pleasing  only 
the  popular  ear;  in  our  courtly  maker  we  banish  them 
utterly."1  In  accepting  Puttenham's  picture  of  the 
common  minstrel,  we  need  in  no  sense  endorse  his  view 
of  Skelton,  whose  "Colin  Clout"  is  a  true  representa- 
tion of  popular  feeling  against  the  corruption  of  the 
Church.  Contrast  Erasmus's  statement  that  Skelton 
was  the  glory  and  light  of  English  letters,  or  Caxton's 
that  he  uplifted  our  language. 

The  most  considerable  court  musician  of  this  time 
was  William  Cornyshe,  who  appears  to  have  been  in 
durance  at  the  Fleet  prison  about  the  time  of  Henry 
VIII. 's  coronation.  In  1493  there  is  mention  of  a  sum 
of  135.  4d.  being  paid  "  to  one  Cornyshe  for  a  prophecy 
in  rewarde."  A  similar  sum  was  paid  to  Cornyshe  by 
Henry  VI I. 's  queen,  "  for  setting  of  a  carralle  upon 
Christmas  Day."  However,  it  chanced  that  this 
musician  was  placed  in  the  Fleet,  from  thence  we  find 
him  petitioning  for  his  release,  in  a  Treatise  between 
Trouth  and  Information?  He  was  successful,  and  in 
1509  supplanted  William  Newark  as  master  of  the 
children  of  the  Chapel  Royal.  He  speedily  became  a 
favourite  with  Henry  VIII.  In  the  masques  and  early 
pieces  of  the  same  type  which  admitted  of  music's  aid, 
Cornyshe  certainly  took  a  prominent  part.  The  large 
sums  he  received  help  to  illustrate  our  remark.  Thus, 

1  Arte  of  English  Poesie. 

2  Hawkins  quotes  112  verses  from  this  curious  document,     (Hist.> 
bk.  Ixxv.) 



An  Eight  Days'  Play 


in  the  eighth  year  of  Henry  VIII.,  in  November  there 
was  paid  "to  Master  Cornyshe,  gentylman  of  the 
King's  Chapell,  upon  a  warraunt,  in  rewarde,  £200." 
One  other  item,  and  we  may  dismiss  the  matter.  In 
1508  there  is  an  entry  (among  the  court  payments)  as 
follows: — "To  Mr.  Kite,  Cornyshe,  and  other  of  the 
Chapell  that  played  affore  the  King  [Henry  VII.]  at 
Richmonte,  £6  135.  4d."  No  doubt  some  of  these 
payments  would  relate  to  miracle-plays,  mysteries, 
pageants,1  and  the  like.  There  seems  no  reason,  how- 
ever, to  disbelieve  the  statement  that  "prior  to  the 
introduction  of  what  may  be  termed  operatic  masques 
in  this  country,  the  plays  or  masques  exhibited  before 
the  court  and  nobility  were  acted  by  the  children  of 
St.  Paul's,  Windsor,  and  the  royal  chapel."  The  writer 
adds  that  "  the  situation  of  master  of  the  children  was 
always  held  by  a  competent  musician,  and  it  is  but  fair 
to  conjecture  that  the  holders  of  that  office  were  the 
chief  contributors  to  the  musical  portion  of  the  enter- 

With  the  earliest  history  of  these  plays  we  are 
scarcely  concerned,  though  it  is  impossible  to  believe 
that  music  did  not  play  some  notable  part  in  them.2 

Passing  to  the  more  critical  years  of  Henry  VIII.'s 

1  He  attended  the  king  at  the  Field  of  the  Cloth  of  Gold,  where  he 
devised  the  pageants  at  the  banquet. 

2  Stow  observes,  under  so  early  a  date  as  1409,  that  "a  great  play  at 
Skinner's  Well  "  was  performed.     This,  he  says,  "  lasted  eight  daies, 
and  was  of  matter  from  the  creation  of  the  world  :  the  most  part  of  all 
the  great  Estates  of  England  were  there  to  behold  it." 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

reign,  we  read  that  in  1520  (the  year  of  Tallis's  birth) 
the  king  renewed  the  charter  (of  Edward  IV.)  to  John 
Oilman,  his  Marshal,  and  to  seven  others  of  his 
minstrels.  Nine  years  later,  this  Oilman  was  succeeded 
by  Hugh  Wodehouse.  The  charter  (as  we  before  saw) 
allowed  of  boys  being  impressed  for  the  services  of  the 
Church.  Thomas  Tusser,  author  of  Five  Hundred 
Points  of  Good  Husbandry^  relates,  in  verse,  how  he 
came  of  good  lineage,  and  was  sent  by  his  father  to  a 
music-school  at  Wallingford  College,  where  he  was 
"impressed"  and  taken  to  St.  Paul's  School.  His 
lot  might  have  been  worse,  for  Dean  Collet's  foundation 
had  recently  been  made  (namely,  in  1512),  providing  for 
353  Poor  men's  sons;1  though,  it  must  be  allowed, 
that  the  cathedral-school  may  even  then  have  been  a 
separate  establishment.  Tusser  thus  refers  to  this 
event: — 

"  Thence  for  my  voice  I  must  (no  choice) 
Away  of  force,  like  posting  horse, 
For  sundrie  men  had  placards  then 
Such  child  to  take." 

The  child  then,  to  his  great  content,  became  a  pupil  of 
John  Redford,  organist  of  St.  Paul's  Cathedral. 

In  the  year  1526  the  king's  band  of  musicians  was 
constituted  as  follows: — 15  trumpets,  3  lutes,  3  rebecks, 

3  taborets,   i   harp,  2  viols,    10  sackbuts,   a  fife,   and 

4  drumslades.     We  have  a  further  record  of  this  band, 
four  years  later,  when  we  find  the  number  increased  by 

1  Stow's  Survey,  p.  170. 


Wolsey's   Choir 


the  addition  of  a  trumpet,  a  lute,  3  minstrels,  and  a 
player  of  the  virginals;  while,  on  the  other  hand,  the 
withdrawals  included  a  sackbut,  the  fife,  and  two  drum- 
slades.  Many  of  the  great  prelates  and  lay  lords  had 
large  musical  establishments.  For  example,  Cardinal 
Wolsey,  in  addition  to  four  regular  minstrels,  main- 
tained the  following  for  daily  service  in  his  chapel: — 
"a  Deane — a  great  divine,  and  a  man  of  excellent 
learning;  a  Sub-deane,  a  Repeater  of  the  Quire,  a 
Gospeller,  a  Pisteller;  of  Singing  Priests  tenne,  a 
Master  of  the  Children;  twelve  seculars,  being  singing 
men  of  the  chappel ;  ten  singing  children,  with  a  servant 
to  attend  upon  the  children.  In  the  Revestry,  a 
yeoman  and  two  grooms;  over  and  beside  divers 
retainers,  that  came  thither  at  principall  feasts."1  This 
note  is  supplemented  in  the  same  writer's  Annals 
(p.  535),  where  we  read  that  upon  one  occasion  "  there 
was  not  only  plenty  of  fine  meats,  but  also  much  mirth 
and  solace,  as  well  in  merry  communication  as  with 
the  noise  of  my  Lord's  minstrels,  who  played  there  all 
that  night  so  cunningly,  that  the  King  took  therein 
great  pleasure;  insomuch  that  he  desired  my  Lord  to 
lend  them  unto  him  for  the  next  night,  and  after  supper 
their  banquet  finished,  the  ladies  and  gentlemen  fell  to 
dancing,  among  whom,  one  Madame  Fontaine,  a  maid, 
had  the  prize.  And  thus  passed  they  the  most  part  of 
the  night  ere  they  departed.  The  next  day  the  King 
took  my  Lord's  minstrels,  and  rode  to  a  nobleman's 
house  where  there  was  some  image  to  whom  he  vowed 
1  Stow's  Survey,  p.  137. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

a  pilgrimage,  to  perform  his  devotions.  When  he  came 
there,  which  was  in  the  night,  he  danced  and  caused 
others  to  do  the  same,  after  the  sound  of  my  Lord's 
minstrels,  who  played  there  all  night,  and  never  rested, 
so  that  whether  it  were  with  extreme  labour  of  blowing, 
or  with  poison  (as  some  judged)  because  they  were 
commended  by  the  King  more  than  his  own,  I  cannot 
tell,  but  the  player  on  the  shalme  (who  was  very 
excellent  on  that  instrument)  died  within  a  day  or  two 

We  have  ventured  this  somewhat  lengthy  extract 
because  it  shows,  as  nothing  else  can,  the  court 
minstrel  (or  musician,1  as  he  may  now  be  called)  in  the 
exercise  of  his  duties.  The  real  distinction  which 
always  existed  between  those  employed  in  the  ser- 
vice of  the  Church  and  the  secular  performer,  was 
rapidly  vanishing  in  Henry's  time.  The  employment 
of  choristers  in  the  masques  of  the  day  assists  our 

Before  quitting  this  part  of  my  subject,  I  add  a  few 
extracts  from  Hawkins,  who  devotes  much  space  to 
the  household  establishment  of  "  Henry  Algernon 
Percy,  the  fifth  Earl  of  Northumberland,  at  his  castles 
of  Wresill  and  Lekingfield,  Yorkshire."  This  docu- 
ment shows  that  twenty-three  gentlemen  and  children 
of  the  chapel  took  part  in  the  daily  Mass.  One  of  the 
entries  reads — "  Oone  for  the  orgayns,"  which  means 
that  one  of  these  "  gentlemen"  was  organist.  The 

1  Both  Percy  (in  the  Reliques)  and  Hawkins  (History  of  Music)  point 
out  that  "minstrel"  at  this  time  referred  to  performer  or  musician. 


"O  death,  rocke  me  on  slepe" 

office,    however,   was    rotated,   as   is   seen   from   this 
direction — 

"The  ordering  for  keeping  weekly  of  the  organs  one  after 
another  as  the  names  of  them  hereafter  followeth  weekly  : — 
The  master  of  the  children,  if  he  be  a  player,  the  first  week. 
A  countertenor  that  is  a  player  the  2nd  week. 
A  tenor  that  is  a  player  the  3rd  week. 
A  Bass  that  is  a  player  the  4th  week. 
And  every  man  that  is  a  player  to  keep  this  course  weekly.' 

The  date  of  this  record  is  1512.  On  the  death  of  the 
then  Earl,  Cardinal  Wolsey,  jealous  (it  is  said)  of  this 
great  establishment,  found  a  way  of  reducing1  it  by  the 
simple  expedient  of  borrowing-  indefinitely  all  the  books 
used  in  the  service  of  the  chapel. 

It  is  recorded  that  at  the  coronation  of  Anne  Boleyn, 
choirs  of  men  and  boys  were  placed  on  the  leads  of  St. 
Martin's  Church,  to  sing-  new  ballads  in  praise  of  her 
Majesty.  Anne  Boleyn  is  known  to  have  excelled  in 
music  and  dancing1.  It  is  left  on  record  that  "she 
doated  on  the  compositions  of  Jusquin  and  Mouton,"  and 
had  collections  of  them  made  for  the  private  practice  of 
herself  and  her  companions.  There  is  some  ground  for 
believing  her  also  possessed  of  uncommon  poetical 
powers.  Her  song  "O  death,  rocke  me  on  slepe"  has 
been  recently  reprinted,  together  with  the  music.1 
Certainly  its  character  is  in  keeping  with  the  tragic 
fortunes  of  this  unhappy  lady.  "  For,"  saith  an  old 

1  It  is  reprinted  in  a  curious  collection  entitled  King?  Music 
(Augener),  edited  by  the  present  writer. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

chronicle,  "within  one  and  the  same  month  was  Queen 
Anne  flourishing,  accused,  condemned,  executed,  and 
another  assumed  into  her  place.  The  first  of  May 
(1533)  she  was  informed  against;  the  2nd,  imprisoned; 
the  i5th,  condemned  ;  and  the  i7th,  deprived  of  her 
brother  and  friends,  who  suffered  in  her  cause,  and  the 
igth,  executed.  On  the  2oth,  the  King  married  Jane 
Seymour,  who  on  the  2Qth  was  publicly  shown  as 
Queen."  Among  those  implicated  was  a  minstrel  of  the 
name  of  Mark  Smeaton,  who  was  treated  with  greater 
«  savagery  than  his  noble  companions.  The 

fate  allotted  this  unfortunate  person  brought 
him  to  the  Tower,  where  he  was  loaded  with  chains,  and 
after  a  hasty  trial,  hanged,  drawn,  and  quartered. 
His  crime,  if  Anne  Boleyn  spoke  truly,  was  no  more 
than  that  he  had  once,  and  once  only,  entered  her 
chamber  to  play  to  her.  She  asked  him  why  he 
looked  so  sad,  and  the  minstrel  replied  that  a  look 
from  her  sufficed  him.  Among  the  gentlemen  of 
the  court  who  shared  the  same  penalty,  was  Henry 
Norris,  a  favourite  of  the  king,  who  was  offered  a 
free  pardon  if  he  would  confess.  "  I  would  rather 
die  a  thousand  deaths  than  betray  the  innocent !  "  The 
recording  angel  must  have  blushed  as  he  traced  the 
king's  reply — "  Hang  him  up,  then;  hang  him  up  !  " 

In  this  same  year  (1533)  a  proclamation  was  issued 
suppressing  "  fond  books,  ballads,  rhimes,  and  other 
lewd  treatises  in  the  English  tongue."  We  reserve 
our  remarks  on  the  ballad  for  another  chapter,  and 
now  merely  note  that  this  proclamation  was  put  in  force 


Political  Ballad 

against  one  John  Hogon,  who,  it  appears,  had  the 
temerity  to  sing  a  political  ballad  "with  a  crowd  or  a 
fyddyll"  to  the  tune  of  "The  hunt  is  up."  Hogon's 
ballad  in  the  fragment  that  is  preserved  ran  thus — 

"  The  hunt  is  up!  the  hunt  is  up!  and  now  'tis  almost  day; 
The  masters  of  arte  and  doctours  of  dyvynyte 
Have  brought  this  realme  out  of  good  unyte. 
Thre  nobyll  men  have  take  this  to  stay, 
My  Lorde  of  Norffolk,  Lorde  of  Surrey, 
And  my  Lorde  of  Shrewsbyrry ; 
The  Duke  of  Suffolk  myght  have  made  Inglond  mery." 

—PAYNE  COLLIER'S  Roxburghe  Ballads  (1847). 

More  than  one  air  is  credited  with  being  the  actual 
melody  sung  by  Hogon.  Here  is  the  best  of  these,  but 
it  is  plain  that  it  fits  the  words  extremely  ill : — 

The  hunt  is    up,  the  hunt  is    up,  and  now 'tis  almost    day,  &c. 

Puttenham  alludes  to  a  song  of  this  title,  in  The  Art 
of  English  Poesie,  in  these  words— "And  one  Gray 
what  good  estimation  did  he  grow  unto  with  the  same 
King  Henry,  and  afterwards  with  the  Duke  of  Sommer- 
set,  Protectour,  for  making  certaine  merry  Ballades, 
whereof  one  chiefly  was,  '  The  Hunte  is  up,  the  hunte  is 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

up.'  And  Queene  Mary  his  daughter  for  one  Epithalamie 
or  nuptiall  song  made  by  Vargas  a  Spanish  Poet  at  her 
marriage  with  King  Phillip  in  Winchester  gave  him 
during  his  life  two  hundred  Crownes  pension  ;  nor  this 
reputation  was  given  them  in  auncient  times  altogether 
in  respect  that  Poesie  was  a  delicate  arte,  and  the  poets 
themselves  cunning  Prince-pleasers,  but  for  that  also 
they  were  thought  for  their  universall  knowledge  to  be 
very  sufficient  men  for  the  greatest  charges  in  their 
common  wealthes,  were  it  for  counsell  or  for  conduct, 
whereby  no  man  neede  to  doubt  but  that  both  skilles 
may  very  well  concurre  and  be  most  excellent  in  one 
person."  The  reference  here  is  probably  to  the  Scalds, 
whose  art  (briefly  mentioned  in  our  earlier  pages)  was 
looked  upon  as  something  divine.  Sir  Philip  Sydney, 
writing  a  few  years  before  Puttenham,  had  observed 
that  "I  think  (and  think  I  think  rightly)  the  laurel 
crown  appointed  for  triumphant  captains  doth  worthily, 
of  all  other  learnings,  honour  the  poet's  triumph." 
The  pages  of  this  book  sufficiently  show  that  the 
minstrels  (speaking  generally)  did  not  go  without 
rewards  ;  but  whether  these  were  given  to  the  "  Prince- 
pleasers  "  and  the  less  substantial  laurel  awarded  the 
poet  it  is  vain  to  inquire. 

It  would  seem  that  the  attempt  to  put  down  popular 
ballads  and  songs  had  its  sympathizers — at  least, 
amongst  the  readers  of  Miles  Coverdale's  "  Address  to 
the  Christian."  This  address  written  in  1538,  six  years 
after  its  author  had  concluded  his  share  of  the  trans- 
lation of  the  Bible,  will  be  found  prefixed  to  Goastly 


Reformation   Effects 

Psalmes  and  Spirituall  Songes,  and  gives  utterance  in 
the  following  terms: — "  Wolde  God  that  our  Mynstrels 
had  none  other  thynge  to  play  upon,  neither  our 
carters  and  plowmen  other  thynge  to  whistle  upon, 
save  psalmes,  hymns,  and  such  like  godly  songes." 
The  austere  old  friar  would  go  further,  for  he  lays  it 
down  in  a  no  less  confident  manner  that  "if  women  at 
the  rockes  [distaffs]  and  spinnynge  at  the  wheles,  had 
none  other  songes  to  pass  their  tyme  withal  than  such 
as  Moses'  sister  songe  before  them,  they  should  be 
better  occupied  than  with  'Hey,  nonny,  nonny:  Hey, 
trolly,  lolly,'  and  such  like  fantasies."  How  little  did 
Coverdale  imagine  that  as  the  centuries  passed  his  lines 
would  be  eagerly  scanned,  if  perchance  they  preserved 
the  very  names  of  those  "fantasies"  which  he  detested! 
The  immediate  effect  of  the  Reformation  must  be 
considered  disastrous  to  secular  music,  which  does  not 
seem  to  thrive  in  times  of  political  ferment 
and  change.  It  is  only  too  likely  that  the 
music  of  the  Church,  despite  the  Masses  of  Josquin  and 
Mouton  (merely  to  mention  Anne  Boleyn's  favourites) 
was  doing  its  best  to  bring  discredit  upon  itself.  Secular 
melodies  were  introduced  into  sacred  compositions,  and 
though  England  does  not  appear  to  have  been  so  extra- 
vagant in  her  services  as  her  continental  neighbours, 
some  ground  there  was  for  Erasmus,  once  a  chorister 
himself,  making  the  following  indictment: — "We  have 
brought  a  tedious  and  capricious  kind  of  music  into  the 
house  of  God,  a  tumultuous  noise  of  different  voices, 
such  as  I  think  was  never  heard  in  the  theatres  either  of 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

the  Greeks  or  Romans,  for  the  keeping  up  whereof  whole 
flocks  of  boys  are  maintained  at  great  expense,  whose 
time  is  spent  in  learning  such  gibble-gabble,  while  they 
are  taught  nothing  that  is  either  good  or  useful.  Whole 
troops  of  lazy  lubbers  are  also  maintained  solely  for  the 
same  purpose;  at  such  an  expense  is  the  Church  for  a 
thing  that  is  pestiferous. "  The  learned  prelate  concludes 
his  charges  by  estimating  how  many  poor  men  could  be 
kept  out  of  the  salaries  of  such  singers,  and  gives  a  final 
rap  at  England  for  admiring  and  encouraging  such 

The  statement  in  the  "Seventy-eight  Faults  and 
Abuses  of  Religion,"  presented  to  Henry  in  1536,  goes 
if  anything  still  further.  Here  is  a  choice  specimen: — 
"  Synging  and  saying  of  Mass,  Matins  or  Evensong,  is 
but  roryng,  howling,  whistelyng,  mummying,  conjuryng, 
and  jogelyng,  and  the  playing  at  the  organys  a  foolish 
vanitie."  It  is  known  that,  after  the  king's  breach  with 
Rome,  only  slight  alterations  were  made  in  the  Liturgy, 
which  was  still  in  Latin,  and  sung  in  the  usual  manner. 
The  King's  Primer,  published  in  English  in  1535,  was 
followed  by  Tyndal's  translation  of  the  whole  Bible — a 
folio  volume  issued  in  1538.  In  A  Book  of  Cere- 
monies,  published  the  following  year,  there  is  this 
passage,  which  views  church  music  in  a  better  light: — 
"The  sober,  discreet,  and  devout  singing,  music,  and 
playing  with  organs,  used  in  the  church  in  the  service  of 
God,  are  ordained  to  move  and  stir  the  people  to  the 
sweetness  of  God's  word,  the  which  is  there  sung;  and 
by  that  sweet  harmony  both  to  excite  them  to  prayer  and 


Destruction  of  Libraries 

devotion,  and  also  to  put  them  in  remembrance  of  the 
heavenly,  triumphant  Church,  where  is  everlasting  joy, 
continual  laud,  and  praise  to  God." 

The  suppression  of  the  monasteries,  which  took  place 
in  1540,  is  of  some  importance  to  our  story.  We  quote 
the  simple  entry  in  Stow's  Survey  in  reference  to  the 
sale  of  the  minstrel's  priory:  —  "This  priory,  at  the  late 
surrender,  the  30  of  Henry  the  8,  was  valued  at  6537. 
155.  by  yeere.  "  A  portion  of  the  building  was  pulled 
down,  while  the  choir  was  annexed  to  the  old 

parish  church  adjoining.     A  set  of  six  bells  100 

was  sold  to  the  St.  Sepulchre's  parish,  while  * 

the  major  portion  of  the  priory  went  to  Sir 
Richard  Rich,  who  was  concerned  in  the  executions  of 
Bishop  Fisher  and  Sir  Thomas  More.  In  these  trans- 
actions of  Henry  VIII.,  the  libraries  were  included  as 
part  of  the  purchase.  Priceless  books  and  MSS.  were 
treated  as  mere  waste-paper.  Some  were  shipped  abroad 
to  the  foreign  bookbinders.  The  red  letters  and  the  em- 
bellished figures  on  the  illuminated  missals  and  manu- 
scripts were  sure  passports  to  destruction.1  The  few 
works  that  escaped  the  popular  fanaticism  were  those 
that  had  been  buried  underground,  or  hidden  in  the  walls 
of  old  buildings;  and  in  such  cases  damp  commonly 
obliterated  what  time  had  spared.  It  is,  of  course,  quite 
impossible  even  to  guess  at  the  extent  of  the  loss  to  music 
which  such  ruthless  destruction  may  have  caused  ;  that 

1  "We  still  find  sach  volumes   mutilated  of  the  gilt  letters  and 
elegant  flourishes,  but  the  greater  number  were  annihilated."  —  ISAAC 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

it  was  serious  is  certain  when  we  remember  that  the 
monasteries,  from  times  long  before  the  good  St. 
Dunstan,  were  the  only  repositories  of  books  and 
manuscripts  of  poetry  and  music. 

A  singular  and  unanticipated  effect  of  the  publication 
of  Marot's  Psalter  (in  1540)  may  be  briefly  noticed  in 
passing.  The  psalms  simply  leaped  into  popularity. 
From  the  court  downwards,  every  one  sang  them;  but, 
strangely  enough,  to  merry  tunes.  Shakespeare's 
" Psalms  to  hornpipes"  was  no  more  than  a  literal  fact. 
The  queen  sang  "O  Lord,  rebuke  me  not"  to  a  fashion- 
able jig.  The  King  of  Navarre's  favourite  was  "  Stand 
up,  O  Lord"  to  a  Poitou  dance-tune.  Every  one 
followed  suite. 

About  this  time — namely,  1544 — it  is  recorded  that  the 
Princess  (afterwards  Queen)  Elizabeth  resided  at  Hat- 
field  House,  in  Hertfordshire,  in  the  custody  of  Sir 
Thomas  Pope.  Here  she  was  visited  by  Queen  Mary. 
One  of  the  diversions  after  Mass  in  the  morning  was  a 
grand  bear-baiting,  with  which  their  highnesses  "were 
right  well  content."  Towards  evening,  the  chamber 
was  adorned  with  a  sumptuous  tapestry,  representing 
the  "  Hanging  of  Antioch."  After  supper,  a  play  was 
presented  (perhaps  Holopkernes)  by  the  children  of 
St.  Paul's.  The  Princess  was  so  delighted  with  the 
choristers  from  St.  Paul's  Cathedral,  that  on  the  next 
day  she  sent  for  one  Maximilian  Poines,  who  had  taken 
a  part,  and  made  him  sing  to  her,  while  "she  played  at 
the  virginals."  From  this  quiet  entertainment  we  pass 
to  a  popular  and  noisier  diversion. 


"Bow  Bells" 

An  old  writer  observed  that  the  English  were  fond  of 
great  noises  that  fill  the  ear,  such    as  the  ringing   of 

Bow  BELLS. 

From  "  Mustek's  Handmaid,'1  1678. 

v  I    -*-  \     M-   •    -       rl'    3J  I  rTT^I  *ll 



-d— o 

r  r*r  f  ~F 

FH *s-? 

4-  r-r" 

r  p    n 




r    i 






Story  of  Minstrelsy 

bells,  the  firing  of  cannon,  or  the  beating  of  drums. 
"It  is  common,"  he  affirms,  "for  a  number  of  them  that 
have  got  a  glass  in  their  heads  to  get  up  into  some 
belfry,  and  ring  the  bells  for  hours  together  for  the 
sake  of  exercise."  Every  one  has  heard  of  Bow  Bells. 
The  church  which  they  rang  into  world-wide  fame  was 
originally  of  the  reign  of  William  the  Conqueror;  and 
being  the  first  in  the  city  built  upon  stone  arches,  was 
called  New  Mary  Church  of  St.  Mary  de  Arcubus,  or  "  Le 
Bow  in  West  Cheaping."  In  1196  William  Fitz  Osbert 
took  possession  of  Bow  Steeple,  fortifying  and  pro- 
visioning the  same  for  a  siege.  This  hero,  it  appears, 
was  dislodged  by  fire  and  smoke;  and,  in  due  course,  he 
and  nine  of  his  followers  were  drawn  by  the  heels  to  the 
Elms  in  Smithfield  and  there  hanged.  In  1271  one 
Laurence  Ducket,  a  goldsmith,  took  refuge  in  this  steeple. 
His  enemies,  however,  came  upon  him  in  the  night,  and 
hanged  him  from  the  window,  in  such  a  manner  as  to 
lead  to  a  verdict  of  suicide.  But  a  boy  witnessed 
the  scene,  and  in  due  time  his  evidence  led  to  the 
hanging  of  sixteen  men,  and  the  burning  of  "a 
certain  woman  named  Alice,  who  was  the  chief 
causer  of  the  said  mischief."  The  church  was 
then,  for  a  time,  interdicted,  and  the  windows  and 
doors  stopped  up  with  thorns.  Passing  to  1469,  we 
find  that  it  was  ordained  in  Common  Council  that 
Bow  Bell  should  be  rung  nightly  at  the  hour  of 
nine.  But  the  Clerk  being  somewhat  unpunctual,  had 
this  rhyme  made  upon  him  by  the  young  apprentices 
of  Cheap  — 

"  Turn  again,  Whittington  " 

"  Clarke  of  the  Bow-bell  with  the  yellow  locks, 
For  thy  late  ringing,  thy  head  shall  have  knocks." 
[Whereto  the  Clerk  replied—] 

"Children  of  Cheape,  hold  you  all  still, 
For  you  shall  have  the  Bow-bell  rung  at  your  will."1 

Stow  mentions  that  "it  appeareth  that  the  lanthornes 
on  the  toppe  of  this  steeple  were  meant  to  have  been 
glazed,  and  lightes  in  them  placed  nightly  in  the  winter, 
wherby  travellers  to  the  city  might  have  the  better  sight 
thereof,  and  not  to  misse  of  their  wayes." 

A  scrap  of  information  comes  to  us  under  date  1542, 
when  William  Crane,  who  had  succeeded  William 
Cornyshe  as  master  of  the  children  at  the  Chapel  Royal 
sixteen  years  previously,  obtained  a  somewhat  remark- 
able privilege.  This  was  no  less  than  the  sole  right  to 
buy  and  export  for  his  advantage  400  tons  of  double 

1  After  a  long  period,  during  which  Bow  Bells  merely  rung  the  con- 
ventional quarters,  the  chimes  have  been  recently  restored.  They  are 
arranged  by  Sir  C.  Stanford,  and  founded  on  the  old  air,  "  Turn  again, 
Whittington."  First  quarter:  the  four  notes  (numbered);  second 
quarter:  the  six  notes  (numbered);  the  hour:  all  the  notes;  third 
quarter,  as  below: — 

i   2    3    4  (ist  quarter).  Hour-bell. 

(3rd  quarter. 



Story  of  Minstrelsy 

beer.  Such  grants,  however,  were  not  uncommon  at  the 
time,  as  is  seen  from  the  privy  seals,  in  the  Rolls  Chapel. 
Not  content  with  the  proclamation  of  1533,  an  Act 
was  passed  in  1543  going  further,  and  treating  the 
printers  with  greater  severity.  This  is  entitled  "An 
Act  for  the  advancement  of  true  religion,  and  for  the 
abolishment  of  the  contrary."  It  recites  that  "froward 
and  malicious  minds,  intending  to  subvert  the  true 
exposition  of  Scripture,  have  taken  upon  them,  by 
printed  ballads,  rhymes,  etc.,  subtilly  and  craftily  to 
instruct  his  highness'  people,  and  specially  the  youth  of 
this  his  realm  of  all  such  books,  ballads,  rhymes,  and 
songs  as  be  pestiferous  and  noisome.  Therefore,  if 
any  printer  shall  print,  give,  or  deliver  any  such,  he 
shall  suffer  for  the  first  time  imprisonment  for  three 
months,  and  forfeit  for  every  copy  £10',  and  for  the 
second  time,  forfeit  all  his  goods  and  his  body  be 
committed  to  perpetual  prison."  In  the  list  of  excep- 
tions which  follows,  The  Canterbury  Tales^  Chaucer's 
books,  Gower's,  etc.,  are  named;  so  also  are  all  books 
printed  before  1540,  entitled  Statutes,  Chronicles,  and 
Biographies.  This  sweeping  Act  accomplished  its  pur- 
pose, for  the  time  being,  at  least.  One  result  was  to 
drive  the  printing  trade  abroad,  printed  matter  being 
afterwards  smuggled  into  the  country.  Perhaps  the 
most  curious  prohibition  of  Henry  VIII.  was  that  of 
reading  the  Bible.  The  high  officers  of  state  might 
scan  its  pages,  as  also  the  gentlewoman  and  noble 
lady  "in  their  garden,  orchard,  or  other  secret  place"; 
but  those  (men  and  women)  of  the  lower  rank  were 

Old  English  Composers 

neither  to  read  nor  to  have  it  read  to  them.     The  Pope 
himself  could  have  gone  no  further. 

Among1  the  chief  musicians  of  the  reign  we  have 
already  mentioned  William  Cornyshe,  senior,  and  some 
others.  To  these  may  be  added  the  names  given 
in  Morley's  Plaine  and  Easie  Introduction  to  Practicall 
Musicke  (1597).  The  author  states  in  his  preface  that 
some  of  the  names  "had  been  buried  in  perpetual 
oblivion "  had  it  not  been  for  his  notice  of  them. 
Taverner,  Fairfax  and  Cooper  are  cited  in  Morley's 
Preface,  in  the  sense  of  theorists.  Compositions  are 
extant  of  all  three,  if  the  Robert  Cooper  is  the  Dr. 
Copere1  of  the  Royal  MSS.  58  (App.),  British  Museum. 
We  give  a  facsimile  of  the  first  folio  contained  in  this 
early  sixteenth  century  quarto.2  At  the  end  of  his  book 
Morley  sets  the  following  names,  the  greater  number 
being  those  of  musicians  flourishing  before  the  Reforma- 
tion : — M.  Pashe,  Robert  Jones,  Jo.  Dunstable,  Leonel 
Power,  Robert  Orwel,  M.  Wilkinson,  Jo.  Gwinneth, 
Robert  Davis,  M.  Risby,  D.  Farfax,  D.  Kirby,  Morgan 
Grig,  Tho.  Ashwell,  M.  Sturton,  Jacket,  Corbrand, 
Testwood,  Ungle,  Beech,  Bramston,  S.  Jo.  Mason, 
Ludford  Farding,  Cornish,  Pyggot,  Taverner,  Redford, 
Hodges,  Selby,  Thorne,  Oclande  Averie,  D.  Tye, 
D.  Cooper,  D.  Newton,  M.  Tallis,  M.  White, 
M.  Persons,  M.  Byrde.  We  have  no  space  to  examine 
Morley's  list  of  musicians  in  detail;  nor,  indeed,  is  there 

1  Dr.  Cooper  (or  Coperario),  Morley's  contemporary,  must  not  be 
confused  with  his  namesake,  who  lived  a  century  earlier. 

2  See  page  154. 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Musicians  and  Martyrs 

sufficient  material  now  remaining"  to  enable  us  to  do  so 
with  any  completeness.  It  may  be  observed,  however, 
that  the  names  cover  a  wide  period ;  for  example, 
Dunstable  died  in  1453,  while  Byrde  was  not  born  until 
1538.  Some  of  these  musicians1  were  also  priests ; 
several  held  good  positions — such  as  S.  J.  Mason,  who 
was  master  of  the  choristers,  Magdalen  College, 
Oxford,  in  1508;  or  White,  who  succeeded  Tye  (in  1562) 
as  organist  of  Ely  Cathedral.  Many  scattered  com- 
positions remain  among  the  MSS.  of  the  Museum  and 
College  libraries,  and  a  few  are  printed  by  Hawkins 
and  Burney.  Tallis  appears  to  have  been  a  chorister  of 
the  Chapel  Royal  during  Henry  VIII. 's  time,  but  both 
he  and  Byrde  more  properly  belong  to  the  Elizabethan 

The  cultivation  of  music  at  the  university  centres 
was  making  its  influence  a  real  factor  in  the  history  of 
the  art.  Between  1504-1516,  there  were  sixteen  degrees 
granted  in  the  faculty  of  music  at  Oxford.  There  is 
evidence  that  practical  composition  was  required  by  the 
examiners  ;  as,  for  example,  from  Christopher  Wodde, 

1  It  would  be  passing  strange  if  in  so  remarkable  a  reign — when  the 
fortunes  of  his  subjects  lay  at  the  mercy  of  the  king's  moods — music 
had  not  contributed  her  share  of  martyrs.  Taverner,  Fryer,  and  Frith, 
while  at  Oxford,  became  Lutherans.  Fryer  was  arrested,  and  while  in 
the  Savoy  prison  "did  much  solace  himself  with  playing  on  the  lute.'' 
Frith  fared  worse,  being  burned  (together  with  one  Andrew  Hewet),  at 
Smithfield  in  1533.  Testwood  (a  singing  man  of  Windsor)  came  to  a 
similar  end  in  1544  ;  while  Marbeck  narrowly  escaped  the  same  terrible 
fate,  having  tempted  fortune  and  the  wrath  of  the  Church  by  compiling 
so  harmless  a  thing  as  an  English  Bible  Concordance. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

who  had  to  compose  a  complete  Mass  with  antiphon. 
Singing — at  Cambridge,  at  least — was  expected  of 
candidates  for  fellowships,  though  it  was  not  compul- 

Some  of  the  publications  of  Henry  VIII.'s  time  call 
for  passing  notice.  Thus,  in  1530  Wynken  de  Worde 
issued  the  first  song-book  printed  in  England,  which 
contained  nine  pieces  by  Cornyshe,  Pyggot,  Gwinneth, 
Robert  Jones,  Dr.  Cooper,  and  Fayrfax.  The  British 
Museum  has  this  copy,  which  contains  the  Bass  part 
only  of  the  songs.  No  other  copies  are  known. 
Another  publication  worthy  of  mention  is  Day's  issue  of 
the  Church  Service  in  1560.  Still  more  important  was 
Day's  second  venture — namely,  "The  whole  Booke  of 
Psalmes  collected  into  English  metre  by  T.  Sternhold, 
J.  Hopkins,  and  others,  conferred  with  the  Ebrue, 
with  apt  Notes  to  sing  them  withall."  A  perfect  copy 
of  this  work  is  preserved  in  the  Ryland's  Library, 
Manchester,  while  the  British  Museum  has  recently 
acquired  a  valuable  though  not  perfect  specimen.  The 
"apt  notes"  referred  to  in  the  title  signify  merely 
the  melody.  An  edition  with  four-part  harmony 
followed  in  1563,  the  joint  work  of  Tallis,  Parsons, 
Edwards  and  others.  Puttenham's  amusing  reference 
to  the  literary  part  of  the  work  mentions  that  "King 
Henry  VIII.,  for  a  few  Psalms  of  David  turned  into 
English  metre  by  Sternhold,  made  him  groome  of  his 
privy  chamber,  and  gave  him  many  other  good  gifts."1 
No  doubt  the  reference  is  to  the  first  instalment  of 
1  Arte  of  Poesie,  p.  12  ;  reprint  p.  32. 


Henry  VIIL's  Cortege 

nineteen    Psalms    which    had    appeared    without    any 
music  in  1549,  the  year  of  Sternhold's  death.1 

Henry  VIIL's  funeral  ceremony  was  carried  out  with 
the  full  ritual  of  the  Catholic  Church  and  the  Latin 
service.  When  the  Lord  Chamberlain  and  the  bishops 
brake  their  staves,  with  "sighs  and  tears,  and  ex- 
ceeding sorrow,"  then  "  the  trumpets  sounded  with 
great  melody  and  courage,  to  the  comfort  of  all  them 
that  were  present."  Roger  North  describes  the  music 
of  Henry's  church  as  "at  its  perfection."  He  continues, 
"There  was  small  show  of  skill  in  music  in  England, 
except  what  belonged  to  the  cathedral  churches  and 
monasteries  (when  such  were),  and  for  that  reason  the 
consortiers  wherever  they  went  (from  '  ministers,'  as 
the  word  was)  were  called  Minstrels,  and  then  the  whole 
faculty  of  music — *  The  Minstrelsie.'" 

1  Robert  Crowley's  Psalter  of  1549  is  described  in  Professor 
Wooldridge's  excellent  article  in  Groves  Dictionary  ,  p.  752,  Appendix, 
and  iii.  832,  new  ed. 



Cranmer's  Liturgy  —  Dr.  Tye  —  Richard  Sheale  —  Edward  VI. 's 
Musicians  and  Players — John  Hey  wood — "  Little  John  Nobody" 
—Gentlemen  of  the  Chapel— Tallis  and  Byrde— Mary  Tudor- 
Clerks  of  London — Sir  William  Forrest. 

WITH  the  service  of  the  Church  we  are  not  directly 
concerned  ;  but,  as  it  has  been  seen  that  Henry  VIII.'s 
funeral  ceremony  was  performed  with  full  Catholic 
rites,  in  order  not  to  give  a  mistaken  impression  of  the 
results  of  the  Reformation,  the  following  quotation 
from  Heylin  is  to  our  purpose  : — "  On  the  i8th  day  of 
the  moneth  of  September  1547  " — that  is,  seven  months 
after  the  young  king  had  come  to  the  throne — "  the 
letany  was  sung  in  the  English  tongue  in  St.  Paul's 
Church  between  the  quire  and  the  high  altar,  the 
singers  kneeling,  half  on  the  one  side  and  half  on  the 
other.  And  the  same  day  the  epistle  and  gospel  was 
also  red  at  the  high  mass  in  the  English  tongue." 
Cranmer's  English  Liturgy,  composed  in  1548,  was 
printed  and  used  the  following  year.  A  statute  imposed 
penalties  on  those  who  neglected  or  depraved  its  use. 
This  was  followed  in  1552  by  a  revised  version,  again 
confirmed  by  statute.  Marbeck's  Book  of  Common 

Richard  Sheale 

Prayer  Noted  had  appeared  in  1550.  In  the  same  year 
he  issued  his  Concordance  of  the  Bible.  It  was  during 
the  preparation  of  this  work  that  the  musician  so 
narrowly  escaped  being  burned  at  the  stake.  Thomas 
Tallis  (1520-85)  was  at  this  time  a  Gentleman  of  the 
Chapel  Royal,  and  served,  says  Hawkins,  for  seven- 
pence-halfpenny  per  diem.  Among  Tallis's  fellow- 
singers  was  Christopher  Tye,  who  at  one  time  had 
acted  as  music-master  to  Edward  VI.,  and  probably 
to  the  Princesses  Mary  and  Elizabeth.  Tye  had 
become  Doctor  in  Music  (Cantab.)  in  1545.  His 
Acts  of  the  Apostles )  of  which  Hawkins  quotes  a 
specimen,  appeared  in  1553,  and  were  for  a  brief 
time  sung  in  the  Chapel  Royal.  Another  musician, 
Richard  Edwardes,  also  of  this  reign,  is  briefly  referred 
to  later  in  our  pages. 

Of  more  importance  to  our  story  is  the  surviving 
information  concerning  Richard  Sheale,  a  minstrel 
who  was  in  the  service  of  Edward,  Earl  of  Derby 
(died  1574).  From  the  MS.  printed  by  Hearne  the 
old  copy  of  "Chevy  Chase"  is  seen  to  be  subscribed, 
after  the  manner  of  old  poetry,  "expliceth  quoth 
Rychard  Sheale."  We  may,  therefore,  assume  that 
Sheale  copied  or  set  down  the  old  ballad  which  we 
have  previously  referred  to.  (See  p.  114.)  A  chant 
by  this  unfortunate  minstrel  sets  forth  how  he  was 
robbed  on  Dunsmore  Heath.  This  is  quoted  at  length 
in  the  British  Bibliographer  (vol.  iv.  p.  100).  The 
portion  dealing  with  the  effect  the  robbery  had  on  the 
minstrel's  spirits  is  thus  given  : — 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

4  After  my  robbery  my  memory  was  so  decayed 
That  I  could  neither  sing  nor  talk,  my  wits  were  so  dismayed, 
My  audacity  was  gone  and  all  my  merry  talk.  • 
There  are  some  here  have  seen  me  merry  as  an  hawk, 
But  now  I  am  so  troubled  with  fancies  in  my  mind 
I  cannot  play  the  merry  knave  according  to  my  kind ; 
Yet  to  take  thought  I  perceive  is  no  the  next  way 
To  bring  me  out  of  debt  my  creditors  to  pay. 
I  may  well  say  that  I  had  but  evil  hap 
For  to  lose  about  three-score  pounds  at  a  clap. 
The  loss  of  my  money  did  not  grieve  me  so  sore, 
But  the  talk  of  the  people  did  grieve  me  much  more. 
Some  said  I  was  not  robbed,  I  was  but  a  lying  knave, 
It  was  not  possible  for  a  minstrel  so  much  money  to  have. 
Indeed,  to  say  the  truth,  it  is  right  well  known 
That  I  never  had  so  much  money  of  my  own; 
But  I  had  friends  in  London,  whose  names  I  can  declare, 
That  at  all  times  would  lend  me  two  hundred  pounds  of  ware; 
And  with  some  again  such  friendship  I  found 
That  they  would  lend  me  in  money  nine  or  ten  pound. 
The  occasion  why  I  came  in  debt  I  shall  make  relation: 
My  wife  indeed  is  a  silk- woman  by  her  occupation; 
In  linen  cloths  most  chiefly  was  her  greatest  trade, 
And  at  fairs  and  markets  she  sold  sale-ware  which  she  made 
As  shirts,  smocks,  and  partlets,  head-clothes  and  other  things 
As  silk  thread  and  edgings,  skirt  bands  and  strings. 
At  Lichfield  market  and  Atherston  good  customers  she  found; 
Also  at  Tamworth,  where  I  dwell,  she  took  many  a  pound. 
When  I  had  got  my  money  together  my  debts  to  have  paid, 
This  sad  mischance  on  me  did  fall,  that  cannot  be  denied. 
I  thought  to  have  paid  all  my  debts  and  to  have  set  me  clear, 
And  then  what  evil  did  ensue  ye  shall  hereafter  hear. 
Because  my  carriage  should  be  light  I  put  my  money  into  gold, 
And  without  company  I  rode  alone,  thus  was  I  foolish  bold; 
1 60 

Tusser  "  Impressed  " 

I  thought  by  reason  of  my  harp  no  man  would  me  suspect, 
For  minstrels  oft  with  money  they  be  not  much  infect." 

We  have  already  related  how  Tusser  was  seized 
under  a  warrant  and  taken  to  St.  Paul's  to  serve  as  a 
chorister.  This  arbitrary  practice  was  continued  in 
Edward  VI. 's  reign.  Strype  records  that  in  1550  a 
commission  was  granted  to  "  Philip  van  Welder  [or 
Wilder],  Gentleman  of  the  Privy  Chamber,  in  any 
churches  or  chappells  within  England  to  take  to  the 
king's  use  such  and  as  many  singing  children  and 
choristers  as  he  or  his  deputy  shall  think  good." 
This  warrant  was  renewed  in  the  very  next  year, 
when  we  read  that  the  Master  of  the  King's  Chapel 
is  licensed  "to  take  up  from  time  to  time  as  many 
children  to  serve  in  the  king's  chapel  as  he  shall 
think  fit."  The  record  of  Edward  VI. 's  "  musitions 
and  players  "  is  thus  given  in  Liber  Niger  Domus  Regis, 
p.  271  :- 


Serjeante     -         -         -     Benedicte  Browne       -         -         -   £24    6    8 
Trumpeters  (sixteen  each  by  the  year,  £24  6s.  8d. )    -         -     389    6    8 

Philip  van  Welder  1 

Luters         -         -         -     ,,  ,  TT,  .,       f  -         -         -      40    o    o 

Peter  van  Welder   J 

Harpers                         -     William  Moore  -       18     5     o 

Bernard  de  Ponte        -         -  20    o    o 

Singers                               Thomas  Kent  926 

Thomas  Bowde  -         926 

Rebeck        -                   -     John  Severnecke  24     6     8 

Sagbutts  (six) :  five  @  ^24  6s.  8d.,  one  @  ^36  IDS.  -     158     3     4 

Vyalls  (eight) :  six  @  ^30  8s.  4d.,  one  @  ,£20,  another  @ 

j£i8  55.     -         -         -  220  15     o 

161  M 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 


Bagpiper        -         -         -     Richard  Woodward  -         -,£1234 

Minstrelles  (nine):  seven  @  ^18  55.,  one  @  ^24  6s.  8d., 

one  @  £3  6s.  8d.              155    8  4 

Dromslades  (three)      -     Robert  Bruer  (master)         -  18    5  o 

Alexander  Pencax       -        -  18    5  o 

John  Hodgkin    -         -         -  18     5  o 

Players  on  Flutes         -     Oliver  Rampons          -         -         -  1850 

Pier  Guye 34    8  4 

Players  on  Virginals     -    John  Heywoode          -         -  50    o  o 

Anthony  de  Chounte  -         -         -  30    8  4 

Robert  Bewman  -         -         -         -  12     3  4 
Musicians  Straungers,  The  four  brethren  Venetians— viz. , 

John,  Anthonye,  Jasper,  and  Baptiste        -        -        -  16    6  8 

Augustine  Bassane      -        -        -  36  10  o 

William  Trosses          -        -  38    o  o 

William  Denivat          -         -  38     o  o 

Players  of  Interludes  in  number  eight : 

Each  of  them  @  ^3  6s.  8d.,  by  yeere  £26  135.  4d.    In 

camera,  seven  :  ^23  6s.  8d.;  in  Sccio,  one,  £3  6s.  8d.  26  13  4 

Makers  of  Instruments  :  William  Beton,  Organ-maker       -  20    o  o 

William  Tresorer,  Regal-maker  -  10    o  o 

1  Summa  totalis     ...  £1732    5    o 
Total  number  of  persons,  73. 

A  comparison  of  King"  Edward's  "Musicians  and 
Players"  with  the  number  employed  by  Henry  VIII., 
shows  that  the  former  had  increased  the  royal  band  by 
a  harper,  2  singers,  6  viols,  6  minstrels,  a  drumslade, 

1  The  figures  are  quoted  from  Hawkins,  but  there  is  an  error  of 
^265  155.,  which  may  possibly  occur  in  the  item  for  Players  of  Inter- 
ludes, who  would  each  need  to  receive  ,£36  us.  o^d.  to  render  a 
correct  total. 


John  Heiwood 

2  flutes,  2  virginals,  in  addition  to  the  7  "  musicians 
straungers,"  8  players  of  interludes,  and  the  two 
makers  of  instruments.  Among  the  reductions  are  the 
following : — 2  luters  less  ;  2  rebecks  less  ;  3  sagbutts 
less  ;  and  the  3  taborets  done  away  with  altogether. 

Several  noteworthy  names  occur  in  the  above  list. 
John  Heywood  (or  Heiwood)  made  more  reputation  as 
an  epigrammatist  than  in  music.  Henry  VIII.  was 
especially  fond  of  his  wit,  and  rewarded  him  liberally. 
11  To  his  talents  of  jocularity  in  conversation  he  joined 
a  skill  in  music,"  says  Warton,  "both  vocal  and 
instrumental."  Hey  wood's  chief  work  was  "The 
Spider  and  the  Flie  " — a  long  poem,  of  which  Warton 
gives  some  extracts  of  little  interest.  Other  pieces  by 
this  literary  musician  comprised  comedies,  interludes  (a 
popular  form  at  this  time),  and  the  aforesaid  epigrams, 
which  last  numbered  no  less  than  six  hundred.  One 
song  by  Heywood  is  preserved  in  a  sixteenth  century 
folio  in  the  British  Museum  (Add.  MSS.  4900,  fol.  55), 
beginning  "What  harte  can  thinke."  Puttenham 
mentions  that  Heywood  came  to  be  well  benefited  by 
the  king  (Henry  VIII.),  "  for  mirth  and  quickness  of  his 
conceits  more  than  for  any  good  learning  "  that  was  in 
him.  Heywood  died  in  1565,  at  Mechlin  (Brabant), 
having  quitted  his  native  country  on  the  death  of 
Queen  Mary,  to  whose  religion  he  had  been  a  faithful 

Of  the  remaining  musicians,  it*  may  be  observed 
that  Philip  van  Welder,  chief  lutenist,  had  been 
empowered  to  impress  youths  for  his  Majesty's  choral 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

FIG.    8. — A   REGAL   PLAYER. 

services.1  The  maintenance  of  an  organ-maker  on  the 
music-staff  seems  unusual ;  and  as  for  the  regal-maker, 
there  is  no  mention  of  players  for  this  particular 
instrument.  A  glance  at  the  fees  received  by  the 
various  musicians,  indicating  as  it  does  the  degrees  of 
estimation  in  which  they  were 
held,  shows  that  the  singers, 
minstrels,  and  harpers,  and  the 
four  "  brethren  Venetians"  re- 
ceived the  leanest  salaries;  while 
the  £^o  per  annum  paid  to 
Heywood  (player  of  the  virginal) 
was  an  unusually  large  sum  at 
this  period. 

It  appears  that  the  young 
king,  who  had  received  an  ex- 
tremely good  education,  was  able  to  handle  the  lute; 
for  it  is  mentioned  in  the  royal  diary  that  on  the  occasion 
of  a  visit  from  the  French  Ambassador  (July  igth,  1551), 
Edward  performed  on  the  lute,  to  the  great  satisfaction 
of  his  audience. 

"The  alterations  made  in  the  established  religion  by 
Henry  VIII.,  the  sudden  changes  it  underwent  in  the 
three  succeeding  reigns  within  so  short  a  space  as  eleven 
or  twelve  years,  and  the  violent  struggles  between 
expiring  Popery  and  growing  Protestantism,  could  not 
but  interest  all  mankind.  Accordingly,  every  pen  was 
engaged  in  the  dispute.  The  followers  of  the  old  and 

1  In  1551  a  yearly  allowance  was  made  "to  find  six  singing  children 
for  the  king's  privy  chamber."  The  sum  named  is  ;£8o. 


"Little  John  Nobody" 

new  profession  (as  they  were  called)  had  their  respective 
ballad-makers;  and  every  day  produced  some  popular 
sonnet  for  or  against  the  Reformation."  Dr.  Percy, 
in  support  of  the  above  remarks,  proceeds  to  quote 
"A  Ballad  of  Luther,  the  Pope,  a  Cardinal,  and 
a  Husbandman,"  together  with  one  entitled  "  Little 
John  Nobody,"  both  written  in  Edward  VI. 's  time. 
One  stanza  of  the  latter  ballad  gives  a  hint  of  its 
general  style.  Its  versification  is  that  of  "  Pierce 
Plowman's  Visions."  Rhyming  at  this  period  was 
coming  into  general  use  : — 

"  For  our  reverend  father  hath  set  forth  an  order, 
Our  service  to  be  said  in  our  seignours  tongue; 
As  Solomon  the  sage  set  forth  the  scripture; 
Our  suffrages,  and  services,  with  many  a  sweet  song, 
With  homilies,  and  godly  books  us  among, 
That  no  stiff,  stubborn  stomacks  we  should  freyke  * ; 
But  wretches  nere  worse  to  do  poor  men  wrong; 
But  that  I  little  John  Nobody  dare  not  speake." 

From  quite  early  in  the  sixteenth  century,  it  appears 
that  the  chaplains  in  the  employ  of  the  royal  and  noble 
households  were  expected  to  compose  plays  for  domestic 
use.  This  is  shown  by  the  Earl  of  Northumberland's 
household  book  (1512-25).  One  entry  reads — "My 
Lorde's  Chapleyns  in  Household  VI.,  namely,  the 
Almonar,  and  if  hy  be  a  maker  of  Interludys,  then  he  to 
have  a  servaunt  to  the  intent  for  writynge  of  the  Parts ; 
and  ells  to  have  none."  Further  entries  confirm  that 

1  Freyke,  indulge,  humour. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

quoted.  Christmas  Day  had  its  Play  of  the  Nativity, 
which,  if  my  lord  were  home,  the  servants  of  the  chapel 
presented  in  the  morning',  and  received  in  reward  the 
sum  of  2os.  Only  half  that  amount  was  expended  on 
the  "  Shrof  Tewsday"  play,  which  was  given  yearly,  at 
night.  "Estur  Day"  had  its  Play  of  the  Resurrec- 
tion, and  the  reward  was  the  full  sum  of  2os.  A 
further  entry  in  this  household  book  shows  that 
strangers  taking  part  in  the  Christmas  plays  received 
only  20  pence.  During  the  year  some  twenty  plays 
seem  to  have  been  given.  The  value  of  money  early 
in  the  sixteenth  century  may  be  estimated  from  the 
fact  that  a  fat  ox  cost  135.  4d.,  a  lean  one  8s.  Twenty 
times  the  money  would  scarcely  tempt  our  modern 
cattle-dealers.  Having  shown  the  intimate  connection 
between  diversions  of  leisure  and  the  more  solemn 
employments  of  chaplains  and  singing  men,  we  shall 
close  our  account  of  Edward  VI. 's  reign  by  quoting 
a  list  of  the  Officers  of  the  Chapel,  adding  a  few  remarks 
on  the  most  conspicuous  of  the  members. 


Master  of  the  Children,        -       Fee,  £40  os.  od. 

Richard  Bowyer.  Largesse  to  the 

children  at  high 
feasts,  £g  1 35.  40". 
Allowance  for 
breakfast  for  the 
children  -  £16 

1 66 

£6$  135.  4d. 

Penitential  Psalms 

Gentlemen  of  the 

Emery  Tuckfield. 

John  Kye,              ^ 

Chappell,     32; 

Nich.  Archibald. 

John  Angel. 

each  of  them  7d. 

William  Walker. 

William  Huchins. 

ob.  a  day. 

R.  Chamberleyn. 

Robert  Phelipps. 

W.  Gravesend. 

Thomas  Birde. 

Richard  Bowyer. 

Robert  Perry. 

William  Barber. 

Thomas  Wayte. 

R.  Richmounte. 

Thomas  Talles. 

Nicholas  Mellowe. 

Thomas  Wright. 

John  Bendebow. 

Robert  Stone. 

William  Mawpley. 

J.  Shepharde. 

George  Edwards. 

Wil.  Hynnes,  or 


Robert  Morecock. 

Thomas  Manne. 

R.  Alyeworth. 

Roger  Kenton. 

T.  Palfreman. 

Lucas  Caustell. 

Richard  Farrant. 

Edward  Addams.  / 


2  at  4d.  ob.  a  daye  either  of  them  ^13  133.  gd.l 

5  at  4d.  the  daye  each  of  them         30    8s.  4d.  ^46  2s.  id. 

Hugh  Williams  at  403.  a  yeere     -       2    os.  od.J 

Summa  Totalis    -    ^476  153.  sd. 

Number  of  persons — 73  Musicians      -        -        -     ^1732     5     o 
Do.  41  Officers  of  the  Chappell         476  15     5 

Total  of  both     114 ^2209    o    5 

Several  of  the  above  musicians  claim  some  notice. 
William  Hunnis  in  1549  published  some  settings  of  Sir 
Thomas  Wyatt's  Penitential  Psalms.  After  being 
Gentleman  of  the  Chapel  Royal  in  Edward  VI. 's  reign, 
he  was  dismissed  by  Queen  Mary  for  taking  part  in  plots 
against  the  Catholics.  Elizabeth  restored  him,  however, 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

and  he  became  custodian  of  the  gardens  and  orchards  at 
Greenwich  (1562).  He  succeeded  Edwardes  as  master 
of  the  children  in  1566.  Some  of  the  titles  of  his  works 
are  extremely  curious;  as,  for  example,  "  A  Hive  full  of 
Hunnye,  containing  the  first  book  of  Moses,"  etc. 
There  is  another  one  entitled  "  Seven  Sobs  of  a  Sorrow- 
ful Soule  for  Sinne,  .  .  .  whereunto  are  annexed  his 
handful  of  honisuckles  "  (1583).  The  punning  of  the 
name  Hunnis  cannot  escape  attention.  He  died  in  1597. 
Richard  Farrant  (1530,  circa  -1580)  is  still  remembered 
by  his  anthem,  "  Lord,  for  thy  tender  mercies'  sake," 
and  services  and  anthems.  He  became  organist  and 
lay-vicar  of  St.  George's  Chapel,  Windsor.  Byrde  and 
Tallis  (or  Talles)  were  the  most  conspicuous  musicians 
of  their  day.  Tallis,  probably  a  chorister  of  the  Chapel 
Royal,  became  successively  organist  of  Waltham  Abbey 
(until  1540),  Gentleman  of  the  Chapel  during  a  part  of 
Henry  VIII. 's  reign,  and  through  that  of  Edward  VI., 
Mary,  and  Elizabeth.  He  died  in  1585.  Byrde  studied 
under  this  famous  church-composer.  Senior  chorister 
of  St.  Paul's  in  1554,  Byrde  afterwards  became  organist 
of  Lincoln  Cathedral  (1563-72).  In  1575  he  was 
appointed  joint-organist  with  his  old  master,  Tallis,  at 
the  Chapel  Royal.  Nor  did  the  association  end  there ; 
for  we  find  the  two  men  appointed  joint  patentees  in  the 
exclusive  right  to  print  music  from  January  22nd,  1575, 
until  Tallis's  death  in  1585.  The  patent,  granted  by 
Queen  Elizabeth,  included  printing  and  selling  music 
and  music-paper,  English  and  foreign.  It  lasted  21 
years.  In  the  first  year  of  this  monopoly,  Byrde's 

1 68 

"  Spem  in  alium  non  habui " 

Cantiones  were  issued,  the  printer  being  Thomas 
Vautrollier.  The  value  is  understood  to  have  been  only 
small;  though  the  fact  of  this  monopoly  being  continued 
by  Byrde,  after  Tallis's  death,  and  again  renewed  in 
conjunction  with  Thomas  Morley,  proves  that  the  com- 
poser was  not  willing  to  part  with  it.  Tallis  is  every- 
where known  through  his  "Responses";  though  some 
of  his  great  works,  such  as  the  famous  motet  "  Spem  in 
alium  non  habui  "  (reprinted  by  Dr.  Armes,  of  Durham), 
are  prized  by  students  of  the  important  ecclesiastical 
period  to  which  it  belongs.  Byrde's  place  in  music  is 
perhaps  still  more  exalted  than  that  of  Tallis.  The 
younger  musician  possessed  some  of  the  majestic  power 
of  Palestrina;  he  was  also  a  melodist  of  supreme  merit. 
His  Virginal  music  in  the  Fitzwilliam  Collection  is  a 
splendid  monument  to  his  mastery  of  the  instrumental 
forms  of  his  day. 

We  hear  little  of  the  minstrels  during  the  brief  reign 
of  Mary  Tudor.      Their  quiet  calling  would  doubtless 
be    pursued   in   the   establishments   of    the 
great  houses,   in   the   city  taverns,   and   in  *r^ 

the  holiday  sports  of  many  a  village  green.  .  u  °' 
The  queen,  like  the  other  members  of 
Henry  VIII.'s  family,  had  some  talent  for  music,  and 
a  good  hand  for  the  lute  or  virginals.  In  reversing 
the  religious  policy  of  her  predecessors,  the  Mass  in 
all  its  glory  was  restored  to  the  Church.  At  the 
funeral  obsequies  of  Edward  VI.,  it  is  interesting  to 
note,  the  Latin  Requiem  performed  at  the  Tower  was 
followed  by  a  Protestant  service  in  English  at  the 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Abbey.  The  coronation  was  celebrated  in  a  "godly 
psalm,"  composed  by  one  Richard  Bearde,  parson  of 
St.  Mary-hill,  the  tenor  of  which  is  seen  in  the  opening 
couplet — 

"  A  godly  psalm  of  Mary  queen,  which  brought  us  comfort  all, 
Thro'  God  whom  we  of  duty  praise  that  gave  her  foes  a  fall." 

The  duodecimo  containing  the  psalm,  includes  tunes  in 
four  parts.1 

In  1554  the  procession  and  Mass  of  the  Clerks  of 
London  were  celebrated  with  much  circumstance. 
"  May  the  sixth,"  relates  Strype,  "was  a  goodly  even- 
song at  Guildhall  college,  by  the  Masters  of  the 
Clarks  and  their  fellowship,  with  singing  and  play- 
ing; and  the  morrow  after  was  a  great  Mass,  at  the 
same  place,  and  by  the  same  fraternity,  when  every 
clark  offered  an  halfpenny.  The  Mass  was  sung  by 
diverse  of  the  queen's  chapel  and  children.  And  after 
Mass  was  done,  every  clark  went  their  procession,  two 
and  two  together,  each  having  on  a  surplice  and  a  rich 
cope,  and  a  garland.  And  then  fourscore  standards, 
streamers,  and  banners,  and  each  one'  that  bare  them 
had  an  albe  or  a  surplice.  Then  came  in  order  the 
waits  playing,  and  then  thirty  clarks  singing  festa  dies. 
There  were  four  of  these  choirs.  Then  came  a  canopy, 
borne  over  the  sacrament  by  four  of  the  masters  of  the 
clarkes,  with  staffe  torches  burning."  Incorporated  by 
Henry  III.  about  1240,  under  the  patronage  of  St. 

1  Warton. 

Clerks  of  London 

Nicholas,  the  Clerks  of  London  gradually  attracted  to 
their  ranks  many  distinguished  ladies  and  gentlemen, 
ecclesiastics  and  lovers  of  music.  The  society  became 
richly  endowed,  and  its  services  as  a  band  of  musicians 
or  choir  were  in  constant  requisition  at  great  ceremonies. 
In  1390  and  1409  eight-days'  plays  were  enacted  before 
the  nobility  and  gentry  of  the  kingdom.  A  memorial 
of  these  events  survives  in  the  name  Clerkenwell.  "  In 
the  ignorant  ages,"  says  Warton,  "the  parish  clerks 
of  London  might  justly  be  considered  as  a  literary 

Not  content  with  the  ordinary  religious  celebrations, 
the  queen  revived  all  the  pageantries  and  mummeries 
of  ancient  superstition.  One  of  these  may  be  briefly 
referred  to.  The  curious  ceremony  of  the  boy-bishop 
had  been  forbidden  in  1542  by  a  statute  of  Henry  VIII. 
It  appears  that  on  the  festival  of  Saint  Nicholas 
(December  6th),  and  for  the  twenty-two  days  succeed- 
ing, a  chorister  was  annually  invested  with  the  name 
and  state,  crosier-staff  and  mitre  of  a  bishop.  This 
episcopus  puerorum,  with  his  child-prebendaries,  directed 
the  cathedral  services,  preached  the  sermon,  and  (in  the 
fourteenth  century,  at  least)  celebrated  high  Mass. 
The  boy-bishop,  further,  received  certain  rents,  capons, 
and  emoluments.  In  France,  where  the  custom  was 
equally  popular,  a  boy-bishop  actually  disposed  of  a 
prebend  which  fell  vacant  during  his  tenure  of  office.  A 
monument  exists  at  Salisbury  showing  that  in  case  of 
death  the  boy-bishop  received  full  pontifical  rites.  The 
origin  of  this  singular  ceremonial  has  been  traced  to 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

the  Constantinople  Synod  of  867  or  870.  It  obtained 
in  England  during  the  fourteenth,  fifteenth,  and 
sixteenth  centuries,  at  many  of  the  cathedral  and 
collegiate  churches,  notably  at  Salisbury,  Winchester, 
York,  St.  Paul's  Cathedral,  London,  Eton  College 
(whose  ad  montem  is  probably  a  survival  of  these 
solemn  theatricals),  Beverley,  and  last  and  least, 
Rotherham,  Yorkshire  (1481).  Though  forbidden  by 
Henry  VIII.'s  statute,  only  thirty  years  previously 
Dean  Collet,  as  founder,  provides  in  the  statute  of 
St.  Paul's  School  that  the  scholars  "  shall  every 
Childermas  day  come  to  Paulis  churche  and  hear 
the  chylde-byshop  sermon,  and  after  to  be  at  the 
hygh-masse,  and  each  of  them  offer  a  id  to  the  chyld- 
byshop,  and  with  them  the  maisters  and  surveiours  of 
the  scole." 

A  poem  founded  on  this  ridiculous  custom,  written 
by  Hugh  Rhodes  (described  as  a  musician  or  Gentle- 
man of  the  Chapel  Royal),  was  sung  before  the  queen 
in  her  privy  chamber,  St.  James',  on  St.  Nicholas' 
Day  and  Innocents'  Day,  1555.  "Mysteries  and 
miracles  were  also  revived,"  says  Warton,  "as  an 
appendage  of  the  papistic  worship."  In  the  year  1557, 
Strype  mentions  that  "on  the  3oth  of  May  was  a 
goodly  May-game  in  Fenchurch  Street,  with  drums 
and  guns,  and  pikes,  with  the  Nine  Worthies,  who 
rode.  And  each  made  his  speech.  There  was  also 
the  Morice-dance,  and  an  elephant  and  castle,  and  the 
lord  and  lady  of  the  May  appeared  to  make  up  this 
show."  During  Mary's  reign,  John  Hey  wood,  as  we 



Ballade  of  the  Marigolde " 

have   previously  stated,  enjoyed  a  full  share  of  royal 
favour  and  some  popularity. 

Although  Mary  put  down  the  ballad-makers  by  an 
edict  of  her  first  year,  it  would  seem  that  she  tolerated 
those  in  her  praise.  Sir  William  Forrest,1  priest, 
queen's  chaplain,  amongst  his  other  literary  labours, 
issued  "  A  New  Ballade  of  the  Marigolde."  The  metre 
is  that  of  ''The  Leather  Bottel,"  and  there  is  some 
ground  for  believing  that  it  was  sung  to  that  melody. 
From  the  copy  preserved  in  the  library  of  the  Society 
of  Antiquaries,  two  stanzas  may  be  quoted  : — 

"  The  God  above  for  man's  delight 

Hath  here  ordayned  every  thing, 
Sonne,  Moone,  and  Sterres  shinying  so  bright, 

With  all  kind  fruits,  that  here  doth  spring, 
And  flowres  that  are  so  flourishing  ; 

Amonges  all  which  that  I  beholde 
(As  to  my  minde  best  contentyng), 

I  doo  commende  the  Marigolde. 

"  To  Marie  our  Queene,  that  flowre  so  sweete, 

This  Marigolde  I  doo  apply, 
For  that  the  name  doth  serve  so  meete 
And  properlee  in  each  partie, 

1  Forrest,  who  had  an  annuity  of  £6  from  Christ  Church,  Oxford, 
was  a  good  musician,  and  collected  many  contemporary  compositions, 
such  as  those  of  Taverner,  Marbeck,  Fayrfax,  Tye,  Sheppard,  and 
Norman.  The  MSS.  are  preserved  in  the  Library  of  the  Music 
School,  Oxford. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

For  her  enduryng  paciently 

The  stormes  of  such  as  list  to  scolde 
At  her  dooynges,  without  cause  why, 

Loth  to  see  spring  this  Marigolde." 

Another  ballad,  by  John  Heywood,  celebrated  the 
marriage  of  Queen  Mary  and  Philip.  A  third,  entitled 
"The  Lamentable  Complaint  of  Queen  Mary  for  the 
unkind  Departure  of  King  Philip,  in  whose  absence  she 
fell  sick  and  died,"  to  the  tune  of  "Crimson  Velvet," 
became  popular  soon  after  Mary's  demise.  It  is  quoted 
by  Ambrose  Philips:  Old  Ballads,  iii.  p.  83  (1723). 



Elizabethan  period — Church  ceremonies — Byrde's  "Reasons" — Morley 
— Masques— "  Preces  Deo  Fundamus" — Elizabeth's  Progresses— 
Burney's  absurdities — A  carol — Gresham  College — Dowland — 
Este— Beggars  and  rogues. 

WHEN  tidings  reached  Elizabeth,   on   November  lyth, 
1558,  of  her  accession  to  the  throne,  she  fell  on  her  knees 
and  repeated  the  words  of  the  Psalmist,  "  A 
Domino  factum  est  istud  ;  et  est  mirabile  in          c    if*" 
oculis  nostris."1     It  is  said  that  more  poetry  " 

was  written  during  her  long  reign  than  in 
the  two  preceding  centuries.  We  shall  not  go  so  far 
as  to  pretend  that  the  same  holds  good  in  regard  to 
music.  That  the  art  awoke  to  a  fresh  impulse  there  is 
overwhelming  proof;  yet,  in  the  rise  of  the  cultivated 
musician,  the  minstrel  order  rapidly  degenerated.  The 
actual  number  retained  at  court  remained  much  the 
same  as  in  the  two  previous  reigns  ;  for  we  read  that 
Elizabeth  maintained  a  band  of  musicians,  consisting  of 
16  trumpets,  lutes,  harps,  a  bagpipe,  9  minstrels,  2 
rebecks,  6  sackbuts,  8  viols,  and  3  players  of  the 
virginals.  "  Upon  the  accession  of  Queen  Elizabeth," 

1  "This  is  the  Lord's  doing;  it  is  marvellous  in  our  eyes." — Ps. 
cxviii.  23.  The  Latin  words  were  afterwards  stamped  on  the  gold  coin 
of  the  realm. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

says  Hawkins,  "and  the  resolutions  taken  by  her  to 
reform  the  choral  service,  Richard  Bowyer,  who  had 
been  Master  of  the  Children  under  King1  Henry  VIII., 
Edward  VI.,  and  Queen  Mary,  was  continued  in  that 
station  ;*  Dr.  Tye — who  seems  to  have  been  out  of 
employ  during  the  reign  of  Queen  Mary — and  William 
Blitheman  were  made  organists,  and  Tallis  continued 
a  Gentleman  of  the  Chapel  Royal.  As  to  Byrde,  there 
seems  to  have  been  no  provision  made  for  him  at  court ; 
on  the  contrary,  he  went  to  Lincoln,  of  which  cathedral 
he  had  been  chosen  organist  in  1563 ;  nor  does  it 
appear  that  he  had  any  kind  of  employment  in  the 
Chapel  till  the  year  1569,  when  he  was  appointed  a 
Gentleman  thereof  in  the  room  of  Robert  Parsons,  who 
about  a  month  before,  by  accident,  was  drowned  at 
Newark -upon -Trent.  Upon  his  being  elected  into 
the  Chapel,  Byrde  was  permitted  by  the  Dean  and 
Chapter  to  execute  his  office  of  organist  of  Lincoln 
Cathedral  by  a  substitute  named  Butler,  of  whom  there 
are  no  memorials  remaining."  2  Thomas  Butler  became 
organist  and  master  of  the  choristers  in  1572,  on  the 
recommendation  of  Byrde  ;  it  therefore  seems  probable 
that  the  latter  returned  to  London  at  that  date. 

Church  services  were  scarcely  less  ceremonial  after 
Elizabeth  restored  (by  statute)  the  second  liturgy  of 

1  Thomas  Gyles  (Master  of  St.  Paul's  Children)  was  empowered  in 
1585  "to  take  up  such  apt  and  meet  children  as  are  most  fit  to  be 
instructed  and  framed  in  the  art  and  science  of  music"  throughout 
England  and  Wales.  (Sloane  MSS.  2035,  fo1-  II6-) 

"  History  of  Music,  bk.  x.  chap.  xcvi. 



Edward  VI.  We  read  that  "the  altar  was  furnished 
with  rich  plate,  with  two  gilt  candlesticks,  with  lighted 
candles,  and  a  massy  crucifix  in  the  midst;  and  that 
the  service  was  sung  not  only  with  organs,  but  with 
the  artificial  music  of  cornets,  sacbuts,  etc.,  on  solemn 
festivals.  That  the  ceremonies  observed  by  the  Knights 
of  the  Garter  in  their  adoration  towards  the  altar,  which 
had  been  abolished  by  Edward  VI.,  and  revived  by 
Queen  Mary,  were  retained.  That,  in  short,  the  service 
performed  in  the  Queen's  Chapel,  and  in  sundry  cathe- 
drals, was  so  splendid  and  showy,  that  foreigners  could 
not  distinguish  it  from  the  Roman,  except  that  it  was 
performed  in  the  English  tongue."  Attracted  by  such 
observances,  it  is  said,  most  of  the  popish  laity  came 
regularly  to  church  for  upwards  of  nine  or  ten  years — 
indeed,  until  the  Pope,  being  out  of  all  hopes  of  an 
accommodation,  excommunicated  the  queen  and  laid 
the  whole  of  England  under  an  interdict.  Archbishop 
Parker,  a  skilful  musician,  assisted  with  the  revision  of 
the  liturgy,  which  in  1559  was  published  and  enforced 
by  the  Act  of  Uniformity.  One  of  the  curious  require- 
ments of  the  Act  was  the  imposition  of  a  fine  of  one 
shilling  on  all  who  absented  themselves  from  church  on 
Sundays  or  holy  days. 

We  learn  from  Strype  that  in  September  1559,  "on 
a  day  of  this  month,  began  the  true  morning  prayer  at 
St.  Antholin's,  London,  the  bell  beginning  to  ring  at 
five,  when  a  psalm  was  sung  after  the  Geneva  fashion, 
all  the  congregation,  men  and  women  and  boys,  singing 
together."  In  the  following  year,  Bishop  Juel  states 

177  N 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

that  the  singing  of  psalms  was  begun  in  the  town  and 
quickly  spread  to  the  city  and  neighbouring  places.  At 
St.  Paul's  Cross1  sometimes  as  many  as  6000  people 
sang  together.  Choral  singing  was  made  possible  for 
congregations  by  the  publication  of  Day's  Psalter  (for 
four  and  three  voices),  during  this  same  year  (1560). 
Before  quitting  these  remarks  on  ecclesiastical  music,  it 
may  be  added  that  a  few  years  later  (1564),  the  Council  of 
Trent  were  on  the  point  of  forbidding  polyphonic  music 
in  the  churches ;  and  that  the  genius  of  Palestrina  saved 
the  situation,  by  bringing  forth  the  three  famous  Masses, 
models  of  what  the  Church  might  reasonably  allow. 

Popular  singing  during  Elizabeth's  reign  flourished 
with  extraordinary  vigour.  Byrde's  "Reasons  briefely 
set  downe  by  th'  auctor,  to  perswade  every  one  to 
learne  to  sing  "  are  as  follows  : — 

"  First,  it  is  a  knowledge  easily  taught,  and  quickly  learned, 
where  there  is  a  good  master,  and  an  apt  scholar. 

2.  The  exercise  of  singing  is  delightful  to  Nature,  and  good 
to  preserve  the  health  of  man. 

3.  It  doth  strengthen  all  parts  of  the  breast,  and  doth  open 
the  pipes. 

4.  It  is  a  singular  good  remedy  for  a  stuttering  and  stammer- 
ing in  the  speech. 

5.  It  is  the  best  means  to  procure  a  perfect  pronunciation, 
and  to  make  a  good  orator. 

6.  It  is  the  only  way  to  know  where  Nature  hath  bestowed 
the  benefit  of  a  good  voice,  which  gift  is  so  rare,  as  there  is  not 

1  The  Dean  of  St.  Paul's  announced  the  defeat  of  the  Spanish 
Armada  in  1588,  at  the  Cross,  where,  in  ancient  times,  public  announce- 
ments were  usually  made. 


Voices  of  Men 

one  among  a  thousand  that  hath  it ;  and  in  many,  that  excellent 
gift  is  lost,  because  they  want  art  to  express  Nature. 

7.  There  is  not  any  music  of  instruments  whatsoever,  compar- 
able to  that  which  is  made  of  the  voices  of  men,  where  the 
voices  are  good,  and  the  same  well  sorted  and  ordered. 

8.  The  better  the  voice  is,  the  meeter  it  is  to  honour  and 
serve  God  therewith;   and  the  voice  of  man  is  chiefly  to  be 
employed  to  that  end. 

Since  singing  is  so  good  a  thing, 
I  wish  all  men  would  learn  to  sing." 

It  seems  almost  as  if  all  men  were  attempting  music, 
in  one  form  or  another,  at  the  time  of  which  we  write. 
Morley's  Plain  and  Easy  Introdtiction  to  Practical  Music 
(1597),  relates  that  when  supper  was  ended,  and 
the  customary  music-books  were  brought  forth,  "the 
mistress  of  the  house  presented  me  with  a  part,  earnestly 
requesting  me  to  sing."  But  when  this  visitor  protested 
his  utter  inability  to  join  in,  "every  one  began  to 
wonder;  yea,  some  whispered  to  others,  demanding  how 
I  was  brought  up."  The  person  thus  "  upon  shame  of 
his  ignorance,"  wisely  sought  out  a  teacher,  and 
proceeded  to  remedy  the  defect  in  his  education.  Ladies 
and  gentlemen  no  longer  neglected  their  musical  studies. 
At  such  schools  as  the  Bridewell  and  Christ's  Hospital, 
boys  of  humble  parentage  were  taught  music,  as  a  class 
of  accomplishment  that  would  secure  them  good 
positions  as  servants,  apprentices,  or  husbandmen.  In 
the  drawing-rooms  of  the  better  classes,  a  bass-viol 
was  commonly  provided  for  the  use  of  visitors  awaiting 
their  turn  to  be  admitted  to  the  owner's  presence. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Similarly,  in  places  of  common  resort — such  as  the 
barbers'  shops — lutes,  citterns,  and  virginals  were 
provided  for  the  diversion  of  customers. 

When  George  Gascoigne's  tragedy  of  Jocasta  was 
acted  at  Gray's  Inn  in  1566,  the  orchestra — such  as  it 
was — included  viols,  cythren,  bandores,  flutes,  cornets, 
trumpets,  drums,  fifes,  and  stillpipes."  Mention  of 
organs  and  recorders  is  met  with  soon  afterwards.  A 
list  of  masques  and  plays  produced  before  the  closing 
of  the  theatres  in  1642  gives  pride  of  place  to  Jane 
Shore,1  a  Latin  play  written  by  Henry  Lacy  of  Trinity 
College,  Cambridge,  in  1586.  The  following  description 
appears  in  the  MS.2: — 

The  Show  of  the  Procession. 

1.  Tipstaffe. 

2.  Shore's  Wife  in  her  pettycote,  having  a  taper  burning 

in  her  hande. 

3.  The  Verger. 

4.  Queristers. 

5.  Singing  men. 

6.  Prebendaryes. 

7.  The  Bishoppe  of  London. 

8.  Citizens. 

This  procession  alludes  to  the  well-known  historical 
incident  of  Shore's  wife  being  publicly  conducted  to 

1  The  earliest  so-called  musical  drama  is  said  to  be  Richard  Edward's 
Damon  and  Pytheas,  acted  in  1565. 

2  See  Harl.  MSS.  6926  and  1412.     There  is  also  a  reprint  in  Musica 

1 80 

Jane  Shore's  Penance 

church  to  do  penance.     As  Byrde's  setting  of  the  pro- 
cessional is  no  doubt  unique,  we  quote  his  music: — 


JPJJ     Pre  -  ces  De  -    o    fun- da    -     mus,      fun-da-mus  o  -  re 


2 — e^-H 

sup  -  pli-ces 

ne   sit   no  -  ta  pol  -  lu  -  ta  meus 

L  G 

r  r  r  r  T 

a  -  dul  -  te  -  ra, 

ne     sit   no  -  ta  pol-lu- 

ta    meus      a  -  dul  -  ter  -  a,     meus  a  -  dul    -    ter  •  a. 
VERSE.  .«. 

—  5E 

€2  f?  1 

r*    "     W    '     =3 

*-  *•      r^ 

IN;  ** 

Fi  -  dem    tu  -  e  -   re  con  -  ju-  gum         lec-tum-que  pro  - 
Quem-cum-que  fac  -   ti    pee  -  ni-tet          pur-ga    sol-u   - 

^    ^&-  * 

-  bo       li   -   ber  -  a         de  -  fen  -  de,       de  -  fen  -  de     pri  -  va  - 
-  turn    cri  -  men  -  e         ex  -  em  -  pla,       ex  -  em-  pla     fa  -  vent 


-  tos    tho      -      ros       fur  -  ti  -  va  ne  le  -  dat    Ve      -     nus. 
pos  -  te      -       ros      fur  -  ti  -  va  ne  foe  -  dat   Ve     -     nus. 

i   MEDIUS. 

t-2 C2_ 

Pre    -    ces    De    -    o,    Pre   -   ces     De    -    o. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

The  remaining  piece  quoted  in  this  list  as  staged 
during  Elibabeth's  reign  is  Cynthia's  Revels,  by  Ben 
Jonson,  with  music  by  Henry  Youle,  or  Youll  (1600). 
Robert  Johnson,  a  famous  lutenist  and  composer  of  the 
period,  was  at  this  time  in  the  service  of  Thomas 
Kytson,  of  Hengrave  Hall,  Suffolk.  He  is  mentioned 
several  times  in  the  household  book.  In  1575,  for 
example,  there  is  this  entry: — "  In  reward  to  Johnson 
the  musician,  for  his  charges  in  awaiting  on  my  Lord 
of  Leicester  at  Kenilworth,  ten  shillings."  This  refers 
to  the  Earl  of  Leicester's  entertainment  of  Queen 
Elizabeth,  at  Kenilworth  Castle — a  splendid  occasion, 
recorded  in  Laneham's  Letter,  and  mentioned  in  Scott's 
famous  novel.  A  royal  progress  such  as  the  queen  then 
undertook  must  have  found  employment  for  all  the 
available  minstrels  en  route,  for  music  was  in  demand 
at  every  turn.  Trumpets  sounded  a  welcome,  groups 
of  musicians,  concealed  or  otherwise,  provided  harmony 
suited  to  each  special  occasion.  Dancing  brought  in  its 
train  numerous  stately  movements,  such  as  the  Corantos, 
Galliards,  the  Haye,  the  Morris,  or  old  country  jigs  of 
the  Trenchmore  and  Cushion  pattern.  In  such  dances 
as  the  last  named,  "all  the  company  took  part — lord 
and  groom,  lady  and  kitchenmaid,  no  distinction,"  says 
Seldon.  Perhaps  the  most  laughable  music,  mentioned 
of  Laneham,  is  that  referred  to  in  the  following  descrip- 
tion:— "  Proteus  appeared  upon  a  huge  dolphin  that  was 
conveyed  through  the  water  upon  a  boat,  the  oars  of  the 
concealed  rowers  of  which  were  made  to  resemble  the 
animal's  fins;  a  band  of  musicians  being  concealed 


"  Good  Laneham,  another  ! " 

within  the  dolphin,  who  burst  into  a  glorious  concert  of 
melody,  while  the  sea  deity  sang  the  thanks  of  the 
delivered  enchantress,  and  of  all  the  nymphs  and  gods 
of  the  sea,  to  the  mighty,  the  chaste,  and  the  beautiful 
Queen  of  England."  Laneham — originally  a  groom  in 
the  royal  stables — was  promoted  by  the  Earl  of  Leicester 
to  the  position  of  guarding  the  council-chamber  door 
from  spies  and  eavesdroppers.  He  describes  his  own 
accomplishments  in  the  manner  following: — "Sometimes 
I  foot  it  with  dancing;  now  with  my  gittern,  and  else 
my  cittern,  then  at  the  virginals  (ye  know  nothing  comes 
amiss  to  me) ;  then  carol  I  up  a  song  withal ;  that  by- 
and-by  they  come  flocking  about  me  like  bees  to  honey; 
and  ever  they  cry,  '  Another,  good  Laneham,  another.'  " 
The  queen  was  a  good  sportswoman,  and  many  a  fine 
hunting-song  must  have  called  her  to  the  field.  The 
number  of  "  Hunt's-ups  "  and  songs  of  the  chase  was 
never  more  varied  than  then.  Some  of  these  have  sur- 
vived ;  such  are  "Blow  thy  horn,  hunter";  "Willy, 
prithee  go  to  bed";  "The  hunt  is  up";  and  "Henry, 
our  royal  king,  would  ride  a-hunting."  That  the  queen 
herself  rode  a-hunting,  and  to  some  purpose,  is 
sufficiently  srfown  in  her  progress  to  Berkeley  Castle,  on 
which  occasion,  during  the  owner's  absence,  twenty- 
seven  prime  stags  were  accounted  for  in  the  course  of 
a  single  day. 

Dr.  Burney  wrote  of  Queen  Elizabeth  that  "this 
heroic  daughter  [of  Henry  VIII.]  used  to  be  re- 
galed during  dinner  with  twelve  trumpets  and  two 
kettledrums;  which  together  with  fifes,  cornets,  and  side- 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

drums,  made  the  hall  ring  for  half  an  hour  together." 
This  absurd  account  is  founded  on  a  passage  in 
Hentzner,  who  described  what  he  witnessed  at  the 
palace  of  Greenwich.  The  half-hour's  fanfare  was  no 
more  than  a  summons  to  dinner.  The  original  words 
run  thus: — "  During  the  time  that  this  guard,  which 
consists  of  the  tallest  and  stoutest  men  that  can  be 
found  in  all  England — being  carefully  selected  for  this 
service — were  bringing  dinner,  twelve  trumpets  and  two 
kettledrums  made  the  hall  ring  for  half  an  hour  together. 
At  the  end  of  this  ceremonial,  a  number  of  unmarried 
ladies  appeared,  who,  with  particular  solemnity,  lifted 
the  meat  off  the  table,  and  conveyed  it  into  the  queen's 
inner  and  more  private  chamber,  where,  after  she  had 
chosen  for  herself,  the  rest  goes  for  the  ladies  of  the 
court."  "The  queen,"  adds  this  writer,  udines  and  sups 
alone,  wkh  very  few  attendants ;  and  it  is  very  seldom 
that  anybody,  foreigner  or  native,  is  admitted  at  that 
time,  and  then  only  at  the  intercession  of  somebody  in 
power."  It  was  a  popular  practice  both  at  dinner  and 
supper  to  introduce  vocal  music.  At  Christmas-time  it 
was  not  unusual  to  sing  a  "jolly  carol"  between  each 
course,  or  dish.  Such  a  song  as  that  of  the  "Boar's 
Head,"  printed  by  Wynkyn  de  Worde  in  1521,  and 
preserved  in  the  fragment  of  that  book  found  by 
Hearne,  or  the  carol  of  "  Remember,  O  thou  man," 
which  found  a  place  in  Ravenscroft's  Melismata  (1603), 
must  have  helped  to  cheer  the  long  winter  hours  at 
many  an  English  hearth  in  "good  Queen  Bess's" 


"  My  Dancing  Day  " 

The  following  example  is  copied  from  William  Sandys' 
Collection  of  Carols  (1838).  Without  vainly  speculating 
as  to  its  age,  it  may  safely  be  pronounced  an  ancient 
piece;  it  is  also  remarkable  for  its  fantastic  legendry. 
Dancing  as  an  expression  of  religious  ecstasy  belongs 
to  a  remote  age.  The  prophet  pictured  David  as 
dancing  "  before  the  Lord,  with  all  his  might." 

i     i        II 





Story  of  Minstrelsy 


„  . 

love,      my    love  ;  This  have     I  done 

my  true  love. 

To-morrow  shall  be  my  dancing  day, 
I  would  my  true  love  did  so  chance 
To  see  the  legend  of  my  play, 

To  call  my  true  love  to  my  dance. 
Sing,  oh  !  my  love,  oh  !  my  love,  my  love,  my  love, 
This  have  I  done  for  my  true  love. 

Then  was  I  born  of  a  Virgin  pure, 
Of  her  I  took  fleshly  substance  ; 

Thus  was  I  knit  to  man's  nature, 
To  call  my  true  love  to  my  dance. 

Sing,  oh  !  etc. 

In  a  manger  laid  and  wrapped  I  was, 
So  very  poor,  this  was  my  chance, 

Betwixt  an  ox  and  a  silly  poor  ass, 
To  call  my  true  love  to  my  dance. 

Sing,  oh  !  etc. 

1  86 

My  True  Love's  Dance 

Then  afterwards  baptized  I  was, 
The  Holy  Ghost  on  me  did  glance, 

My  Father's  voice  heard  from  above, 
To  call  my  true  love  to  my  dance. 

Sing,  oh  !  etc. 

Into  the  desert  I  was  led, 

Where  I  fasted  without  substance  ; 
The  Devil  bade  me  make  stones  my  bread, 

To  have  me  break  my  true  love's  dance. 
Sing,  oh  !  etc. 

The  Jews  on  me  they  make  great  suit, 
And  with  me  made  great  variance, 

Because  they  lov'd  darkness  rather  than  light, 
To  call  my  true  love  to  my  dance. 

Sing,  oh  !  etc. 

For  thirty  pence  Judas  me  sold, 
His  covetousness  for  to  advance  ; 

Mark  whom  I  kiss,  the  same  do  hold, 
The  same  is  he  shall  lead  the  dance. 

Sing,  oh !  etc. 

Before  Pilate  the  Jews  me  brought, 
Where  Barabbas  had  deliverance ; 

They  scourg'd  me  and  set  me  at  nought, 
Judged  me  to  die  to  lead  the  dance. 

Sing,  oh  !  etc. 

Then  on  the  cross  hanged  I  was, 
Where  a  spear  to  my  heart  did  glance ; 

There  issued  forth  both  water  and  blood, 
To  call  my  true  love  to  my  dance. 

Sing,  oh  !  etc. 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Then  down  to  hell  I  took  my  way 

For  my  true  love's  deliverance, 
And  rose  again  on  the  third  day 

Up  to  my  true  love  and  the  dance. 

Sing,  oh  !  etc. 

Then  up  to  heaven  I  did  ascend, 
Where  now  I  dwell  in  sure  substance, 

On  the  right  hand  of  God,  that  man 
May  come  into  the  general  dance. 

Sing,  oh !  etc. 

In  1579  Sir  Thomas  Gresham  (who  had  built  the  Royal 
Exchange)  left  by  will  provision  for  several  professor- 
ships, one  of  which  was  to  be  in  music.  Effect  was 
given  to  this  bequest  in  1596,  when  the  Gresham  Pro- 
fessorship of  Music  was  placed  in  the  hands  of  Dr. 
John  Bull,  on  the  recommendation  of  the  queen.  Being 
unable  to  lecture  in  Latin,  Bull  was  specially  permitted 
to  use  his  native  tongue.  His  salary  amounted  to  ^50 
per  annum,  and  he  held  the  post  for  about  ten  years. 
Among  Bull's  successors  were  parsons  and  physicians 
and  an  organ-builder,  who,  among  them,  usurped  the 
intended  educational  foundation  for  upwards  of  150 
years,  when  a  better  order  of  things  was  instituted. 
The  success  of  the  present  professor  (1907)  has  raised 
the  chair  from  a  position  of  obscurity  to  one  of  high 

In  an  age  when  every  trivial  affair  of  daily  life  had  its 
ballad,  it  would  have  been  astonishing  if  so  great  an 
event  as  the  defeat  of  the  Spanish  Armada  had  been 

1 88 

Music  and  Sweet  Poetry 

passed  over  in  silence.  Two  ballads  survive  recording 
the  event,  though  neither  possesses  any  degree  of 
musical  interest  ;  both  were  sung  to  the  tune  of 
"  Hanskin,"  better  known  in  connection  with  "Jog  on, 
jog  on  the  footpath  way."1 

In  this  same  year,  John  Dowland  (1562-1626)  took 
his  degree  (Mus.  Bac.)  at  Oxford.  This  celebrated 
lutenist  was  a  great  traveller  in  his  day,  and  visited 
France,  Germany,  and  Italy,  spending  at  least  four 
years  abroad.  His  most  noted  air,  still  popular,  is  the 
14  Frog  Galliard,"  or  "Now,  oh  now,  I  needs  must 
part."  It  first  appeared  in  Songs  or  Ayres  of  Four  Parts 
(1597),  and  achieved  widespread  success  as  a  ballad 
tune.  Dowland  was  the  friend  of  Shakespeare,  who 
was  long  credited  with  the  following  verses  : — 

"  If  music  and  sweet  poetry  agree, 
As  they  must  needs  (the  sister  and  the  brother), 
Then  must  the  love  be  great  'twixt  thee  and  me, 
Because  thou  lov'st  the  one,  and  I  the  other. 
Dowland  to  thee  is  dear,  whose  heavenly  touch 
Upon  the  lute  doth  ravish  human  sense ; 
Spenser  to  me,  whose  deep  conceit  is  such, 
As  passing  all  conceit  needs  no  defence  ; 
Thou  lov'st  to  hear  the  sweet,  melodious  sound 

1  The  older  ballad,  beginning  "  In  eyghtye-eyght,  ere  I  was  born,"  s 
contained  in  Harleian  MSS.  791,  fol.  59,  and  reprinted  in  Ebsworth's 
Westminster  Drollery  (Appendix,  p.  xxxviii.).  The  second  ballad  (in 
same  volume)  begins  "Some  years  of  late,  in  eighty-eight"  (p.  93 
text).  The  latter,  with  tune,  is  in  Pills  to  Purge  Melancholy  (iv. 
p.  37).  Both  versions  are  given  in  Chappell's  Popular  Music. 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

That  Phoebus'  lute,  the  queen  of  music  makes, 

And  I  in  deep  delight  am  chiefly  drown'd, 

Whenas  himself  to  singing  he  betakes ; 

One  god  is  good  to  both,  as  poets  feign, 

One  knight  loves  both,  and  both  in  thee  remain/3 


Middleton,  Ben  Jonson,  Massinger,  and  Fletcher  all 
allude  to  Dowland's  "  Lachrymse  "  pavan,  of  which  no 
perfect  copy  is  known.  Dowland  died  in  the  service  of 
Charles  I. 

Puttenham,  to  whom  we  are  indebted  for  descriptions 
of  many  kinds  of  ancient  song,  speaks  of  birthday 
pieces  in  the  following  terms: — "  Others  for  magni- 
ficence at  the  nativities  of  Princes'  children,  or  by 
custome  used  yearly  upon  the  same  days  are  called 
songs  natall  or  Genethliaca.  Others  for  secret  recrea- 
tion and  pastime  in  chambers  with  company,  or  alone, 
were  the  ordinary  Musickes  amorous,  such  as  might  be 
song  with  voice  or  to  the  Lute,  Citheron  or  Harpe,  or 
daunced  by  measures,  as  the  Italian  Pavan  and  Galliard 
are  at  these  days  in  Princes'  courts  and  other  places  of 
honourable  or  civil  assembly. "  He  further  distinguishes 
between  the  marriage-song  and  the  ordinary  ballad. 
The  manner  of  celebrating  weddings  was  "with  great 
rejoicing  due  to  such  a  matter  and  to  so  gladsome  a 
time.  This  was  done  in  ballade  wise  as  the  natal 
song,  and  was  song  very  sweetely  by  Musicians  at  the 
chamber  door  of  the  bride  and  bridegroom  at  such  times; 
and  they  were  called  Epithalamies  as  much  as  to  say  as 
Ballades ;  for  such  as  were  song  at  the  borde,  at  dinner 



or  supper,  were  other  musickes,  and  not  properly 

The  morning  serenade  was  sometimes  called  a 
11  hunt's-up,"  as  we  see  from  Romeo  and  Juliet,  in  the 
verse — 

"  Hunting  thee  hence,  with  hunt's-up  to  the  day." 

In  1591,  when  Queen  Elizabeth  visited  the  Earl  of 
Hertford,  at  Elvetham  (Hants.),  she  was  awakened  with 
such  a  song  on  the  third  day  of  her  entertainment.  It 
is  thus  recorded: — "On  Wednesday  morning  about 
nine  o'clock,  as  her  Majesty  opened  a  casement  of  her 
gallery  window,  there  were  three  excellent  musicians, 
who  being  disguised  in  ancient  country  attire,  did  greet 
her  with  a  pleasant  song  of  Corydon  and  Phillida,  made 
in  three  parts  of  purpose.  The  song  as  well  for  the 
worth  of  the  ditty,  as  the  aptness  of  the  note  thereto 
applied,  it  pleased  her  Highness  after  it  had  been  once 
sung  to  command  it  again,  and  highly  to  grace  it  with 
her  cheerful  acceptance  and  commendation."  The 
verses,  so  charmingly  introduced  to  her  Majesty,  were 
by  Nicholas  Breton,  and  are  known  and  admired  to  this 
day.  They  begin — 

"  In  the  merry  month  of  May, 
On  a  morn  by  break  of  day, 
Forth  I  walkt  the  wood  so  wide, 
When  as  May  was  in  her  pride  ; 
There  I  spied  all  alone, 
Phillida  and  Corydon." 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

The  music  performed  by  those  "  three  excellent 
musicians"  was  the  composition  of  Michael  Este;  it 
appears  in  his  Madrigals  of  1604.  Dr.  John  Wilson's 
setting  is  now  better  known.  Another  version  by  Dr. 
Benjamin  Rogers  became  popular  after  its  publication 
(in  1653)  by  Playford,  but  it  cannot  compare  with 
Wilson's  pretty  melody. 

It  has  already  been  seen  that  the  minstrels  unattached 
to  the  great  houses  (including  the  court)  were  leading 
for  the  most  part  an  idle  and  vagabond  life.  Such 
legislation  as  was  meted  out  to  them  was  of  a  repres- 
sive kind.  And  no  wonder.  For  in  spite  of  preceding 
monarchs'  statutes  hundreds  of  able-bodied  beggars 
roamed  at  will  about  the  country  committing  all  manner 
of  robberies  and  violences,  and  of  this  number  many 
were  of  the  lowest  class  of  minstrel,  who  picked  up 
a  fortuitous  livelihood  at  the  country  weddings,  Whit- 
sun  Ales,  fairs,  and  May  festivals;  and,  most  commonly 
of  all,  at  the  taverns.  In  1572  the  Act  declared  that 
"  all  the  parts  of  England  and  Wales  be  presently  with 
rogues,  vagabonds,  and  sturdy  beggars  exceedingly 
pestered."  The  description  of  the  class  whose  sup- 
pression was  aimed  at  included  minstrels  not  belonging 
to  any  peer  of  the  realm.  The  punishments  allotted  to 
the  convicted  were  exceedingly  severe.  Whipping  and 
branding  with  a  hot  iron  came  first,  and,  finally,  death 
at  the  gallows  without  benefit  of  clergy.  The  severity 
of  these  punishments  proved  their  own  foil,  and 
rendered  the  Act  less  effective  than  it  might  have  been 
with  reasonable  lenience.  Not  until  1597,  when  new 


Beggars  and   Rogues 

clauses  were  drawn,  dealing  with  "rogues,  vagabonds, 
and  sturdy  beggars,"  and  distinguishing  these  from  the 
real  poor,  did  legislation  effect  any  improvement  in 
the  state  of  affairs.  Rates  were  levied  for  the  main- 
tenance of  the  indigent  poor,  while  the  rogues  and 
vagabonds  (including  "  minstrels  wandering  abroad") 
were  to  be  sent  to  the  House  of  Correction.  Four 
years  later  (1600)  the  Act  was  extended  and  improved. 
It  thus  laid  the  foundation  of  our  present  poor  laws. 
Ritson  remarks  that  "it  might  not  be  long  after  the 
passing  of  the  above  Act  against  the  minstrels  that 
Dr.  Bull  wrote  satirical  verses  upon  them,"  of  which 
part  of  the  first  stanza  is  as  follows : — 

"  When  Jesus  went  to  Jairus'  house, 
He  turn'd  the  minstrels  out  of  doors, 
Among  the  rascal  company; 
Beggars  they  are  with  one  consent, 
And  rogues  by  Act  of  Parliament." 



Stuart  period — Gunpowder  Plot — Catch  for  five  voices — Musicians' 
Company — Masques  and  plays — Playford — Closing  of  the  theatres 
— Cromwellian  carols — Dorothy  Osborne — "  Loth  to  depart" — Re- 
storation— Dr.  Rogers— Four-and-twenty  fiddlers— Mace — Jenkins 
— Purcell — Handel — Arne — Retrospect. 

ONE  of  the  first  acts    of  James    I.   was  to  grant   an 

increase  of  stipend   to   the    Gentlemen  of  the  Chapel 

Royal.      Dr.    Bull    was    still    organist,   and 

among1  the  musicians  afterwards  known  to 
Period  TTTMi- 

fame  were  William  Lawes,  who  appears  in 

the  list  of  chaplains,  and  William  Byrde.  The  king, 
though  fond  of  poetry,  did  not  take  any  special  interest 
in  music  or  painting.  His  children,  however,  were 
placed  under  Dr.  John  Coperario,  who  taught  Prince 
Charles  to  play  on  the  viol  da  gamba.  Prince  Henry 
in  1611  maintained  a  body  of  fifteen  musicians,  at  the 
head  of  whom  was  Dr.  Bull.  Vocal  music,  so  widely 
cultivated  under  Elizabeth,  now  gave  way  to  instru- 
mental. Among  the  publications  of  the  time  were 
Morley's  First  Booke  of  Consorte  Lessons,  arranged  for 
treble  lute,  pandora,  cittern,  flute,  and  treble  and  bass 
viols.  Even  the  madrigals  were  now  issued  for  voices 
or  viols.  Masques  and  interludes  were  in  great  request 


Musicians'  Company 

at  the  chief  houses,  which  still  maintained  a  musical 
establishment.  The  Gunpowder  Plot  (1605)  occasioned 
a  ballad  or  two,  such  as  that  which  appears  in  Choice 
Drollery  (1656)  beginning — 

"And  will  this  wicked  world  never  prove  good? 
Will  priests  and  catholiques  never  prove  true  ?" x 

Chappell  mentions  another  ballad,  to  the  tune  of 
4 'The  Barking  Barber,"  but  he  does  not  quote  the 
words.  The  most  notable  publication  of  old  ballads 
and  ancient  songs  occurred  in  Thomas  Ravenscroft's 
three-fold  work,  Pammelia  (1609),  Deuteromelia  (1609), 
and  Melismata  (1611).  We  quote  an  example  of  a 
round  for  five  voices  from  the  first-named  work.  It 
is  remarkable  for  the  fact  that  the  first  half-dozen  bars 
are  identical  with  William  Byrde's  Christmas  Carol 
contained  in  Songs  of  Sundry  Natures  (1589). 

The  Musicians'  Company,  which  claims  to  have  been 
established  in  1472  by  Edward  IV.'s  Charter — though 
Stow  in  his  Survey  does  not  include  it  among  the 
sixty  companies  existing  in  the  twenty-third  year  of 
Henry  VIII. — received  a  new  charter  from  James  I.  in 
1604.  Members  were  limited  to  the  City  of  London 
and  within  three  miles  of  its  boundaries.  It  also 

1  The  witty  editor  of  our  modern  reprint  remarks — "With  Charles 
Lamb,  we  have  always  regretted  the  failure  of  the  Gunpowder  Plot.  It 
would  have  been  a  magnificent  event,  fully  equal  to  Firmillian's  blowing 
up  of  the  Cathedral  of  St.  Nicholas  at  Badajoz ;  and  the  loss  of  life  of 
all  the  Parliament  members  would  have  been  a  cheap  price,  if  paid, 
for  such  a  remembrance. " 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

practically  granted  a  monopoly  in  outdoor  perform- 
ances, such  as  weddings,  dances,  serenades,  etc.,  as 
all  such  performers  required  the  Company's  licence. 

The  number  of  people  taking  up  music  this  while  as  a 
profession  is  said  to  have  been  very  great.  Some  of 
these  travelled  abroad;  like  Dowland,  who  became 



—  1  r~ 


-   White 

—&  —  ^— 

wine     and 

—j  TJ  — 



—  P3  ~o  — 


ffi       J       <* 

n,             I_ 

good    drinl 

i      .  .          for 

1  i  1  —  1 


m  —  r    i  • 

~J~^        |- 

v     '      ^- 

me  ;    for 

so       said 

r  —  -^  rs  — 

Par-son  Pratt 

^   •  * 

YJU  —  -  —  f^t  — 

—  1  

—  j  1  — 


Gough  said 

nay             to 


w  —  F  —  f— 



-s  —  ^n 

that ;  for        he     lov'd      Malm 

sey.  White 

lutenist  to  the  King  of  Denmark;  Peter  Phillips,  who 
obtained  the  appointment  of  organist  to  the  Archduke 
of  Austria;  and  Dr.  Coperario,  who  spent  so  much  of 
his  time  in  Italy  that  his  surname  Cooper  is  to  this 
day  better  known  in  the  Italian  form  just  given. 

Masques  and  Plays 

The  masques  ]  and  plays  produced  in  this  reign  were 
the  following: — 

Ferrabosco's  Volpone  (Ben  Jonson),  1605. 

Ferrabosco's  Masque  of  Blackness  (Ben  Jonson),  1605. 

Twelfth  Night  Revels  (Ben  Jonson),  1606. 

Dr.  Campion's  Masque  in  honour  of  Lord  Hayes  and  his 

bride  (in  conjunction  with  Thomas  Lupo  and  Thomas 

Giles),  1607. 
Ferrabosco's  Masque  for  Lord  Haddington's  marriage  (Ben 

Jonson),  1608. 

Ferrabosco's  Masque  of  Beauty  (Ben  Jonson),  1608. 
Ferrabosco's  Masque  of  Queens  (Ben  Jonson),  i6io.a 
Coperario's  Masque  of  the  Inner  Temple  and  Gray's  Inn 

(Beaumont),  1613. 

Robert  Johnson's  Tempest  (Shakespeare),  1612  circa. 
Coperario  and  Lanier's  Masque  at  the  marriage  of  the 

Earl  of  Somerset  and  Lady  Frances  Howard,  1614. 
Coperario's  Masque  of  Flower s^  1614. 
R.  Johnson's  Valentinian  (Beaumont  and  Fletcher),  1617. 
R.  Johnson's  Masque  of  the  Gypsies  (Ben  Jonson),  1621. 

Although  the  musicians'  names  are  placed  first,  their 
share  in  the  production  of  these  masques  was  the  least, 
and  sometimes  meant  no  more  than  a  few  songs  and 
dances.  Vast  sums  were  spent  on  preparing  the 
performances.  For  example,  the  Gray*s  Inn  Masque 
cost  ^i, 086  8s.  i id.,  which  represented  ten  times  our 

1  So  early  as  1431  the  Lincoln's  Inn  Society  celebrated  four  annual 
festivals,  which  for  the  most  part  consisted   of  the  representation  of 

2  Reprinted  by  the  Shakespeare  Society  in  Cunningham's  Life  of 
Inigo  Jones. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

money  value.  The  machinery  and  costumes  were 
devised  by  Inigo  Jones,  while  Lanier  was  responsible 
for  much  of  the  scenery.  Coperario's  celebrated  air 
of  "Mad  Tom"  was  introduced  in  the  Gray's  Inn 
Masque.  A  few  songs  from  Robert  Johnson's  Tempest 
also  survive. 

It  may  prove  not  uninteresting  to  note  the  rewards 
to  the  persons  employed  in  the  Masque.  An  example 
is  seen  in  the  Pell  Records,  where  the  payments  for 
producing  Ben  Jonson  and  Ferrabosco's  Masque  of 
Queens  are  as  follows: — 

To  12  Musicions  that  were  Preestes,  that  songe  and  played  £24 
„  12  other  Lutes  that  suplied  and  with  Flutes  -  -  12 
„  10  Violencas  that  continually  practized  to  the  Queen  -  20 
„  4  more  that  were  added  ^t  the  Maske  ...  4 
„  15  Musitions  that  played  the  pages  and  fooles  -  -  20 
„  13  Hoboyes  and  Sackbutts 10 

Ferrabosco,  "for  making  the  songs,"  received  £20; 
Mr.  Johnson,  for  setting  the  same  to  the  lutes,  received 
£$.  In  addition  to  the  players  mentioned,  there  were 
the  members  of  the  royal  band — stringed  instruments 
almost  entirely;  thus  there  would  be  a  full  orchestra 
of  not  less  than  eighty  performers. 

In  the  Survey  of  Cornwall  (1602),  Carew  gives  a 
glimpse  of  the  wandering  minstrel,  in  speaking  of 
"  Tregarrick,"  then  the  residence  of  the  Sheriff 
(Duller).  "It  was  some  time,"  says  he,  "the  Wide- 
lade's  inheritance,  until  the  father's  rebellion  forfeited 
it,  when  the  son  led  a  walking  life  with  his  harp  to 


Florentine  Renaissance 

gentlemen's  houses,  where-through,  and  by  his  other 
active  qualities,  he  was  entitled  Sir  Tristram;  neither 
wanted  he  (as  some  say)  a  *  belle  Isound,'  the  more 
aptly  to  resemble  his  pattern." 

A  deed  dated  1612  bearing  Shakespeare's  autograph, 
shows  that  the  poet  purchased  his  house  in  Blackfriars 
from  Henry  Walker,  "  citizen  and  minstrel  of  London," 
who  received  the  sum  of  ^140,  equal  to  about  £joo 
in  current  value.  This  Walker  was  a  member  of  the 
Musicians'  Company ;  and  it  is  believed  that  the  roll  of 
Freemen's  names — unfortunately,  lost — may  also  have 
included  Shakespeare's.  (See  Grove's  Dictionary,  iii. 
340,  new  ed. ) 

Opera  had  been  successfully  launched  in  1600,  when 
Peri's  Euridice  came  to  light.  Several  earlier  com- 
posers had  been  instrumental  in  developing 
the  movement,  which  came  to  a  climax 
during  the  Renaissance  through  the  efforts  of  that 
little  band  of  Florentines — Galileo,1  Peri,  and  Caccini, 
who  met  together  towards  the  close  of  the  sixteenth 
century.  The  first  history  of  Opera  is  contained  in  the 
history  of  ancient  Greece.  But  just  as  our  drama 
came  through  the  channel  of  miracle-play  and  mystery, 
designed  often  enough  by  men  conversant  with  the 
plays  of  Plautus  and  Terence,  if  not  those  of  ^schylus 
and  Sophocles,  so,  too,  may  opera  with  no  little  degree 
of  probability  be  traced  to  precisely  the  same  source. 
The  first  English  opera  was  Nicholas  Lanier's2  setting  of 

1  Father  of  the  astronomer. 

<J  Born  1588,  died  1665  or  1666. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Ben  Jonson's  Masque  at  Lord  Hay's,  for  the  entertain- 
ment of  Baron  de  Tour,  French  Ambassador,  in  1617. 
Lanier  was  long"  thought  to  have  been  an  Italian, 
but  it  is  now  known  that  he  came  of  English  parent- 
age :  his  father  and  maternal  grandfather  being  English 
court  musicians.  We  have  no  space  to  trace  the 
progress  of  opera  in  this  country;  it  must  suffice  to 
note  the  early  landmarks.  Such  were  Monteverde's 
Orfeo  of  1608,  and  The  Siege  of  Rhodes  (1656)— the  first 
opera  sung  in  England — in  which  the  composers  col- 
laborating were  Charles  Colman,  Henry  Cooke,  Henry 
Lawes,  and  George  Hudson.  Matthew  Locke's  music 
to  Shirley's  Masque  of  Cupid  and  Death  (1653)  merits 
the  title  of  opera  no  less  than  those  previously  named. 
Arrived  at  1677,  the  reputed  date  of  Purcell's  Dido 
and  ^Eneas^1  we  touch  an  epoch  which  may  justly 
be  claimed  as  one  of  supreme  importance  to  English 
music.  The  foundations  of  dramatic  music,  then  well 
and  truly  laid,  will  doubtless,  as  time  goes  on,  lead  to 
a  superstructure  being  raised  worthy  of  Purcell  and  of 
his  country. 

Charles  I.,  himself  an  accomplished  musician  and 
patron  of  music,  possessed  in  his  Gentlemen  of  the  Chapel 
Royal,  several  excellent  musicians,  such  as  William  and 
Henry  Lawes,  Dr.  Coperario,  Lanier,  and  Dr.  Charles 
Colman.  An  important  publication  early  in  the  reign, 
was  Barnard's  Church  Music,  collected  out  of  "divers 
approved  authors."  Church  music  temporarily  passed 

1  Mr.  Barclay  Squire  fixes  the  date  as  1688  or  1690.  ("Sammel- 
biinde"  of  the  Int.  Mus.  Ges.  v.  506.) 


Whitelocke's  Coranto 

out  of  favour,  and  in  1644  the  Book  of  Common  Prayer 
was  abolished.  Instrumental  music  as  regards  the 
Church  was  now  under  ban.  Sir  Edward  Deering,  who 
introduced  the  bill  for  the  abolition  of  Episcopacy, 
declared  that  "one  single  groan  in  the  spirit  is  worth 
the  diapason  of  all  the  church  music  in  the  world." 
With  such  views  in  favour,  the  next  sixteen  years  was 
a  blank  in  the  history  of  ecclesiastical  music.  Not  so 
the  secular;  for  as  lyric  poetry  began  to  be  cultivated 
by  Ben  Jonson  and  others,  including  the  court  poets 
Carew,  Waller,  Suckling,  Lovelace,  and  Herrick, 
music  kept  pace  with  her.  Playford's  Select  Musical 
Airs  (1653)  contains  excellent  specimens  of  the  songs 
of  this  period,  many  of  which  still  continue  to  be 
reprinted.  Hawkins  gives  a  copy  of  Lord  Commis- 
sioner Whitelocke's  "  Coranto" — a  singular  memorial 
of  the  Puritan  stalwart.  In  his  memoirs,  Whitelocke 
explains  that  Simon  Ives  (a  decidedly  second-rate  com- 
poser, who  wrote  nothing  so  interesting  himself)  assisted 
in  the  composition  of  this  bright  and  melodious  little 
dance-tune.  The  air  caught  the  queen's  fancy,  and 
from  first  being  played  whenever  lawyer  Whitelocke 
entered  a  play-house,  it  afterwards  travelled  the  length 
of  the  kingdom,  and  for  half  a  century  enjoyed  great 
popularity.  Having  said  so  much,  a  copy  might  be 
expected.  It  is  too  long,  however,  for  reproduction; 
the  curious  reader  is  therefore  referred  to  Hawkins* 
History  (bk.  xiii.  chap.  cxxi.). 

Of  the  Masques  and  Triumphs  given  during  Charles' 
unfortunate   reign,  it  will   be   observed   that   all   were 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

English,  Ferrabosco  having  disappeared  from  the  stage. 
Milton's  Comus,  produced  in  1634,  originated  through 
Henry  Lawes'  intimacy  with  the  poet.  The  young 
people  of  the  noble  family  of  Egerton  were  the  per- 
formers, one  of  whom — Lady  Alice  Egerton — was  a  pupil 
of  Lawes.  The  two  men  had  previously  collaborated  in 
a  short  pastoral  entitled  Arcades,  given  at  Harefield, 
near  Uxbridge,  in  1633.  Our  list  is  quoted  from 
Rimbault: — 

Thomas  Brewer's  Love  Tricks  (Shirley)  .  .  1631 

Henry  Lawes'  Rival  Friends  (Peter  Hausted)  .  1632 

Dr.  Wilson's  Northern  Lass  (Richard  Brome)  .  .  1632 
William  Lawes  and  Simon  Ives'  Triumph  of  Peace 

(Shirley) 1633 

Henry  Lawes'  Ccelum  Britannicum  (Carew)  .  .  .  1634 

Henry  Lawes'  Masque  of  Comus  (Milton)  .  .  .  1634 
Dr.  Charles  Colman's  Royal  Entertainment  at  Richmond 

(Davenant) 1634 

William  and  Henry  Lawes'  Triumphs  of  the  Prince 

d?  Amour  (Davenant) 1635 

Henry  Lawes'  Masque  of  Vices  .  .  .  circa  1635 

Henry  Lawes'  Royal  Slave  (Cart wright)  ....  1636 

Lanier's  Luminalia;  or,  Festival  of  Light  .  .  .  1637 

Lewis  Richard's  Salmacida  Spolia  (Davenant)  .  .  1639 

With  the  closing  of  the  theatres  in    1642,  and  the 
rigorous    ordinances    of    1647    forbidding    music   and 
dancing    under   heavy   fines    and    imprison- 
ment, secular   music   came  to  a  standstill. 
Cromwell,  a  secret  lover  of  music,  presents  the  singular 
spectacle    of   a   statesman    discouraging   in    public    an 


Cromwellian  Carols 

art  which  he  privately  approved.  The  organ,  removed 
from  Magdalen  College,  Oxford,  was  conveyed  to 
Hampton  Court,  where  the  Protector  often  enjoyed 
hearing  it  played  by  John  Kingston,  a  pupil  of  Orlando 
Gibbons.  Music  was  denounced  from  the  pulpit, 
anathematized  openly  by  eminent  writers,  and  finally 
made  penal  by  Parliament  itself.  Such  persecution 
could  but  defeat  its  own  ends.  While  the  Puritans 
were  singing  psalms  to  hornpipes,  and  the  Protector 
entertaining  ambassadors  with  psalmody ;  others  there 
were,  among  the  cavaliers,  who  fostered  the  fallen  muse 
until  such  time  as  she  could  once  again  exercise  her 
humanizing  influence.  Whether  suggested  or  not  by 
William  Slater's  Songs  of  Sion  (1642) — a  volume  of 
pious  verse  set  to  secular  airs — it  was  gravely  suggested 
in  Parliament  in  this  year  that  the  deeds  of  Oliver 
Cromwell  should  be  put  into  rhyme,  with  a  view  to 
replacing  the  carols  so  fondly  sung  at  Christmastide. 
In  the  country,  the  milkmaids'  voices  were  still  to  be 
heard.  Old  Izaac  Walton  wrote  in  1653 — "As  I  left 
this  place  and  entered  into  the  next  field,  a  second 
pleasure  entertained  me  ;  it  was  a  handsome  milkmaid, 
who  cast  away  all  care  and  sung  like  a  nightingale  ; 
her  voice  was  good,  and  the  ditty  fitted  for  it ;  it  was 
that  smooth  song  made  'by  Kit  Marlow,  now  at  least 
fifty  years  ago  ;  and  the  milkmaid's  mother  sung  an 
answer  to  it,  which  was  made  by  Sir  Walter  Raleigh 
in  his  younger  days."1  Dorothy  Osborne,  in  a  letter 

1  The  song  referred  to  is  "  Come,  live  with  me  and  be  my  love." 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

of  the  same  date,  gives  similar  testimony: — "  The  heat 
of  the  day  is  spent  in  reading  or  working,  and  about 
six  or  seven  o'clock  I  walk  out  into  a  common  that  lies 
hard  by  the  house,  where  a  great  many  young  wenches 

keep  sheep  and  cows,  and  sit  in  the  shade 
Dorothy  .  .  r  i  n 

Q  *  singing    or    ballads.       I    go   to    them    and 

compare  their  voices  and  beauties  to  some 
ancient  shepherdesses  that  I  have  read  of,  and  find  a 
vast  difference  there ;  but  trust  me,  I  think  these  are 
as  innocent  as  those  could  be.  I  talk  to  them  and  find 
they  want  nothing  to  make  them  the  happiest  people  in 
the  world  but  the  knowledge  that  they  are  so." 

As  a  specimen  of  the  music  of  the  Commonwealth — 
cultivated  in  secret — the  following  little  song  from 
Elizabeth  Rogers'  Virginal  Book  will  recommend  itself 
for  grace  and  refinement.  The  words  are  credited  to 
Dr.  Donne.  "Loth  to  depart"  became  a  descriptive 
title  for  any  farewell  song.  We  have  a  modern  instance 
in  "The  girl  I  left  behind  me,"  which  is  the  soldiers' 
"  loth  to  depart";  our  sailors,  too,  on  leaving  a  foreign 
port,  sing  their  farewell  song.  In  Ravenscroft's 
Deuteromelia  (1609)  the  following  lines  refer  to  this 
sort  of  air  : — 

"  Sing  with  thy  mouth,  sing  with  thy  heart, 
Like  faithful  friends,  sing  Loath  to  depart ; 
Though  friends  together  may  not  always  remain, 
Yet  Loath  to  depart  sing  once  again." 

The  Fitzwilliam  Virginal  Book  has  an  arrangement  of 
such  a  song,  by  Giles  Farnaby  ;  Orlando  Gibbons  is 


"  Loth  to   Depart " 

also  known  to  have  written  a  "  loth  to  depart."  Our 
copy  is  anonymous,  and  we  prefer  not  to  speculate  on 
its  authorship. 




Lie  still,  my  deare,   why  dost  thou  rise  ?  The  light  that 

'.  J.  J.J  J-     q     jj. 



shines,    comes    from  thine  eyes  -,         The  day  breaks  not,       it 

j '     J-      i  -J-    i 

^£_J  —  *—$£ 


3!    i    •• 

i     r 

f^r    r  —  r  •    *] 


—  *-•  —  "  —  i  j 

is      my    heart,              To    think  that    thou     and       I       must 

fry     J  fS  



—  q  -j—  —  ^j  -j 

c  r  r 

1  P 

—  r 

1    J  ^  »    f  '-  -      -  ^ 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

/L      _J 

r-  (0)*           • 

h»    i 

h»    i 



fi>     S 

hr  AH/; 


r  r 


_H_1  — 








—  i  —  L_J  — 

oh,  stay, 

oh,  stay, 

or    else 


^f*^  —  —  

.   , 



e2-  •• 

^—  dtor- 




—  TO— 

r?  — 



my       joys  must  die,     And       pe-rish    in  their  in  -  fancy. 

I         TN 

An  ordinance  of  the  Commonwealth,  dated  1656, 
reproduces  much  of  the  spirit  of  the  Elizabethan  edict, 
and  enacts  ''that  if  any  person  or  persons,  commonly 
called  Fidlers  or  Minstrels,  shall  at  any  time  be  taken 
playing,  fidling,  and  making  musick  in  any  inn,  ale- 
house, or  tavern,  or  shall  be  taken  proffering  them- 
selves, or  desiring,  or  entreating  any  person  or  persons 
to  hear  them  play  or  make  musick  in  any  of  the  places 
aforesaid,  every  such  person  or  persons  so  taken  shall 
be  adjudged  and  declared  to  be  rogues,  vagabonds, 
and  sturdy  beggers." 

At  the  Restoration,  the  forces  of  music  were  discovered 
to  be  much  shattered  and  dissipated.  Some  sixteen 


May-song  at  Magdalen 

years  of  enforced  idleness  had  abolished  the  order  of 
singing  boys.  Organs  had  been  pulled  down,  destroyed, 
or  mutilated,  and  organ-builders — with  the  exception  of 
the  Dallams — had  disappeared  from  the  land;  and  to 
crown  all,  books  and  music  had  perished  in  considerable 

One  of  the  first  events  of  musical  importance  was  the 
entertainment  given  by  the  City  of  London,  at  the 
Guildhall,  to  the  King  and  Parliament.  A  "  Hymnus 
Eucharisticus,"  written  by  Dr.  Ingelo,  and 
set  to  music  (in  four  parts)  by  Benjamin  Dr.  Rogers 
Rogers,  served  to  honour  the  occasion. 
Hawkins,  who  confuses  this  hymn  with  a  second 
composed  by  Rogers,  remarks  that  he  was  "amply 
rewarded  for  his  excellent  composition."  The  other 
setting  of  words  beginning  "  Te  Deum  Patrem  coli- 
mus,"  sung  as  grace  after  meat,  and  annually  from 
the  college  tower  on  the  first  of  May,  was  written  for 
Magdalen  College,  Oxford,  where  Rogers  was  organist 
for  more  than  twenty  years. 

In  restoring  church  music,  Charles  II.  found  him- 
self in  the  singular  dilemma  of  being  unable  to 
obtain  choristers.  Matthew  Locke  writing  in  1673, 
remarks,  "  For  above  a  year  after  the  opening  of 
his  Majesty's  chapel,  the  orderers  of  the  music 
there,  were  necessitated  to  supply  the  superior  parts 
of  their  music  with  cornets  and  men's  feigned  voices ; 
there  being  not  one  lad  for  all  that  time  capable  of 
singing  his  part  readily."  The  taste  of  the  day  now 
set  towards  instrumental  music — especially  that  for 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

strings.  Tom  Durfey's  song1  of  "  Four-and-twenty 
Fiddlers,  all  in  a  row,"  satirized  the  actual  state  of 
things  in  regard  to  the  court  band.  The  fiddlers  were 
not,  however,  as  Hawkins  imagined,  all  players  of  the 
treble  violin;  but  were  balanced  as  follows: — 6  violins, 
6  counter-tenors,  6  tenors,  and  6  basses.  Baltzar  (one 
of  the  finest  players  of  his  day)  was  the  first  leader; 
after  him  came  Bannister;  and,  finally,  Monsieur 
Grabu,  whom  all  the  historians  delight  in  picturing  as 
an  impudent  impostor.  Henry  Purcell  was  now  coming 
to  the  front,  and  the  rivalry  in  stage-productions  of  the 

two  men  has  tended  to  ridicule  Grabu  to  all 
Purcell  posterity.  So  fond  was  the  king  of  this 

group  of  twenty-four  fiddlers,  that  they  were 
installed  in  the  Chapel  Royal,  and  the  organ  abandoned. 
While  raising  the  salaries  of  his  Gentlemen  of  the 
Chapel  to  £*jo  each,  per  annum,  the  king  had  no  method 
in  his  payments.  Pepys  refers  to  this  matter,  under  date 
December  igth,  1666: — "Talked  of  the  king's  family 
with  Mr.  Hingston,  the  organist.  He  says  many  of  the 
musique  are  ready  to  starve,  they  being  five  years  behind 
with  their  wages;  nay,  Evens,  the  famous  man  upon  the 
harp,  having  not  his  equal  in  the  world,  did  the  other 
day  die  of  mere  want,  and  was  fain  to  be  buried  at  the 
almes  of  the  parish,  and  carried  to  his  grave  in  the  dark 
at  night  without  one  linke,  but  that  Mr.  Hingston  met 
it  by  chance,  and  did  give  i2d.  to  buy  two  or  three 

We  have  Roger  North's  testimony  that  the  French 
music    did    not   entirely  supplant    our    own.     The   old 


Old  Thomas  Mace 

music,  says  he,  was  used  in  the  country,  and  in  meet- 
ings and  societies  in  London.  Mace,  too,  adds  that 
"  the  common  tunes  are  sung  by  the  boys  and  common 
people  in  the  streets,  among  them  being  many  that  are 
very  excellent  and  well  contrived."  Mace,  the  great 
authority  on  the  lute,  mentions  that  Charles  II.  bought 
an  old  specimen  of  the  kind,  "a  pitiful,  battered,  cracked 
thing,"  for  £100. 

This    Thomas    Mace    (1619-1709),    some    time  Clerk 
of  Trinity  College,  Cambridge,  has  left  in  his  Mustek's 
Monument   (1676),  a    good    account  of   the 
art  of   his    time.     Though    the  larger   part  Mace 

of  his  book  treats  of  the  lute,  the  author 
claims  to  have  excelled  more  upon  the  viol.  "We 
had  for  our  grave  musick,"  says  he,  "Fancies  of 
3,  4,  5,  and  6  parts  to  the  Organ;  interpos'd  (now  and 
then)  with  some  Pavins,  Allmaines,  solemn  and  sweet 
delightful  ayres;  all  of  which  were  (as  it  were)  so  many 
pathettical  stories,  rhetorical  and  sublime  discourses; 
subtil  and  accute  Argumentations;  so  suitable,  and 
agreeing  to  the  inward,  secret,  and  intellectual  faculties 
of  the  soul  and  mind ;  that  to  set  them  forth  according 
to  their  true  praise,  there  are  no  words  sufficient  in 
language;  yet  what  I  can  best  speak  of  them,  shall  be 
only  to  say,  that  they  have  been  to  myself  (and  many 
others)  as  divine  raptures,  powerfully  captivating  all 
our  unruly  faculties  and  affections  (for  the  time),  and 
disposing  us  to  solidity,  gravity,  and  a  good  temper; 
making  us  capable  of  heavenly  and  divine  influences. 
'Tis  great  pity  few  believe  thus  much ;  but  far  greater 

209  p 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

that  so  few  know  it."  The  authors  he  admires  include 
Coperario,  William  Lawes,  Simpson,  and  John  Jenkins,1 
and  "one  Monteverde,  a  famous  Italian."  Mace  has 
much  to  say  on  the  balance  of  instrumental  music, 
which  he  considers  is  left  too  much  to  the  violins.  He 
exclaims,  "  Six  violins,  nay  ten,  nay  twenty  or  more,  at 
a  sumptuous  meeting",  and  scarce  half  so  many  basses ; 
which  (as  I  said  before)  were  more  reasonable,  sure,  to 
be  the  greater  number."  His  view  of  church  music, 
with  a  few  reservations,  goes  to  show  that  sacred  music 
was  far  behind  the  secular. 

The  most  significant  event  of  the  period  was  the  rise 
and  popularity  of  Henry  Purcell  (1658-95).  The  list 

of  his  dramatic  pieces,  beginning  with 
Purclll  Epsom  Wells  (Shadwell),  in  1676,  includes 

some  forty  works,  the  last  being  Don 
Quixote  (part  Hi.),  produced  in  PurcelPs  last  year.  In 
some  of  the  dramas  music  plays  an  exceedingly  small 
part,  as  in  the  Indian  Queen;  others,  like  King  Arthur, 
on  the  contrary,  abound  in  songs,  choruses,  and  in- 
strumental pieces.  No  other  music  was  tolerated  until 
1710,  when  Handel  paid  his  first  visit  to  England. 

One  of  the  remarkable  song-collections  of  this  reign, 
though  not  published  in  complete  form  until  George  I.'s 
time,  is  Tom  Durfey's  Pills  to  Purge  Melancholy.  The 
author  states  in  his  preface,  "When  I  have  perform'd 

1John  Jenkins  (b.  1592)  is  remembered  by  the  catch  "A  boat,  a 
boat,  haste  to  the  ferry."  Many  of  his  MSS.  are  still  in  the  Library  of 
Christ  Church  College,  Oxford.  Stafford  Smith  asserts  that  "Henry 
Purcell  undoubtedly  borrow ed from  his  works." 



some  of  my  own  things  before  their  Majesties  King 
Charles  II.,  King  James,  King  William,  Queen  Mary, 
Queen  Anne,  and  Prince  George,  I  never  went  off  with- 
out happy  and  commendable  approbation."  Some 
further  notice  is  taken  of  this  large  song-collection  in 
Appendix  A. 

During  the  period  that  Handel  dominated  music  in 
England,  there  was  at  least  one  musician  who  could  hold 
his  own  as  a  song-writer.  "  Arne,"  said  the  late  Dr. 
Hullah,  "was  the  most  thoroughly  national  of  all  our 
song-writers.  His  fulness  of  melody,  purity  of  harmony 
were  equalled  only  by  his  sustaining  power.  No  com- 
poser is  more  tuneful,  and  at  the  same  time  more 
spontaneously  continuous  than  Arne." 

A  few  further  writers  are  briefly  referred  to,  under 
our  chapter  on  Songs.  With  the  more  modern  de- 
velopment of  song-writing,  history,  as  yet,  is  scarcely 
concerned.  Time,  the  only  arbiter  of  Art,  must  be 
allowed  to  absorb  and  adjust  new  tendencies  and  new 
aims  before  a  just  appreciation  can  be  pronounced. 
Briefly  to  sum  up:  it  has  been  shown  that  music  held  an 
important  place  in  the  ancient  Celtic  scheme,  and  that 
with  the  Teutonic  invasion  of  our  shores,  it 
became  reconstructed  with  new  ideas  and  Summary 
added  impetus.  The  Roman  influence  need 
not  be  taken  into  account,  unless  the  ecclesiastical 
impulse  of  a  later  time  is  to  be  considered  of  weight. 
On  this  point,  however,  it  must  be  borne  in  mind  that 
most  historians  of  music  are  agreed  that  the  Church  art 
was  invariably  behind  the  secular;  or,  to  quote  Burney, 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

"it  seems  as  if  ecclesiastical  music  was  always  inferior 
at  any  given  period,  and  that  the  mutilated  and  imperfect 
scale  of  eight  modes  in  Canto  Fermo  had  not  only  injured 
Melody,  but  that  bad  harmony  continued  in  the  Church 
long  after  it  ceased  to  be  tolerated  elsewhere."  *  With 
the  Conquest,  native  art  (such  as  it  was)  suffered  a 
complete  eclipse.  But  it  cannot  be  supposed  that  a 
tenacious  and  hardy  people,  such  as  the  survivors  of 
Hastings  undoubtedly  were,  completely  abandoned  the 
songs  and  musical  diversions  of  their  own  land,  and 
tamely  surrendered  all  to  the  Norman.  History  is 
almost  a  complete  blank  on  this  point.  The  true  store- 
houses where  native  art  would  be  carefully  (if  secretly) 
treasured  up,  were  the  monasteries.  With  their  decline, 
nearly  all  traces  of  English  minstrel-art  disappeared. 
Hence  Ritson's  retort  that  Dr.  Percy's  account  of  the 
Minstrels  "might  with  more  propriety  have  been  entitled 
An  Essay  on  the  Ancient  French  Minstrels. " 

Certainly  the  first  glimpse  of  our  English  minstrel 
discovers  a  strolling  musician,  almost  mendicant  and 
vagabond  in  his  tastes  and  proclivities.  With  the  Welsh 
bards  we  have  no  concern.  Their  history  is  one  apart, 
and  when  it  is  truly  rendered,  much  of  the  glamour 
hitherto  surrounding  it  will  in  all  probability  disappear, 
leaving  a  plain,  unvarnished  tale  of  trials  and  difficulties 
successfully  overcome,  with  a  small  surviving  record  of 
work  accomplished  and  preserved.  It  has  been  observed 
that  *  *  the  first  musicians  were  gods ;  the  second,  heroes ; 
the  third,  bards;  the  fourth,  beggars."  Curiously 
1  Burney,  ii.  166. 


Stuart  Charter 

enough,  the  succession  of  the  minstrels  is  only  to  be 
traced  through  the  court  records.  It  was  so  in  the  time 
of  Canute  and  Alfred,  and  our  accounts  have  invariably 
been  intermingled  with  the  annals  of  kings  and  queens — 
such  scraps  as  we  have  been  able  to  piece  together. 
Here,  also,  is  a  link  with  the  musicians  who  carried  on 
art  when  the  minstrel  rogues  and  vagabonds  ceased  to 
occupy  our  attention. 

A  charter  of  Charles  I.  invested  Nicholas  Lanier  and 
others  with  power  as  marshal,  wardens,  and  cominality 
of  the  art  and  science  of  music,  to  suspend 
and  take  away  the  privilege  of  practising  as  A.D,  1636 
minstrels  from  all  those  who  were  found  short 
of  ability,  and  to  licence  those  who  were  found  worthy. 
This  link,  slender  as  it  might  at  first  appear,  joins  in 
unbroken  succession  the  minstrels  of  the  Norman  Con- 
quest and  the  musicians  of  the  Stuart  period — Lanier, 
Lawes,  and  Wilson,  until  in  due  time  we  can  add  the 
name  of  Henry  Purcell,  the  best  court-musician  England 
ever  possessed.  Such  a  continuation  may  be  considered 
fanciful ;  it  is  at  least  illustrious. 



"  Sermons  in  stones" — Wells  Cathedral — Worcester — Peterborough — 
Minstrels'  Gallery,  Exeter  —  Beverley  Minster — St.  Mary's— 
"Meynstyrls5  Pillor." 

MINSTRELSY  has  left  her  mark  not  only  in  various 
manuscripts,  missals,  tapestry,  and  grave  memorials, 
but  also  in  the  more  visible  witness  of 
berir  ons^  churches  —  such  as  the  priory  erected  by 
Rahere  (Smithfield,  London),  or  the  Church 
des  M6n£triers,  Paris.  Turning  to  our  ancient 
ecclesiastical  edifices,  the  craft  mark  is  traceable  in 
several  of  the  most  famous.  The  west  front  of  Wells 
Cathedral,  though  not  strictly  of  this  order,  has  been 
described  as  a  reproduction  in  stone  of  the  Gloria  in 
ExcelsiS)  which  is  the  ideal  song  of  all  men  in  all  ages ; 
or  as  Fuller  has  said,  "It  is  a  masterpiece  of  art  indeed, 
made  of  imagery  in  just  proportion,  so  that  we  may  call 
them  vera  et  spirantia  signa.  England  affordeth  not  the 
like."  Worcester  Cathedral  preserves  a  bas-relief  on 
the  under  portion  of  the  choir  seats,  showing  a  twelfth- 
century  player  of  the  crwth  or  crowd,  a  rude  form  of 
violin  with  five  strings.  On  one  of  the  sculptures 
outside  St.  John's  Church,  Cirencester,  the  method  of 
handling  this  ancient  instrument  is  seen  to  be  almost 


'  Minstrels'  Gallery,  Exeter 

identical  with  that  of  the  violin.  The  date  of  the 
sculpture  is  about  1522.  A  much  earlier  monumental 
brass  erected  to  Robert  Braunch  of  Lynne  (Norfolk),  in 
1364,  seems  to  show  by  its  long  neck  and  bent  sides, 
that  this  ancient  fiddle  was  originally  intended  to  be 
held  between  the  performers'  knees. 

Among  the  frescoes  on  the  interior  of  the  roof  of 
Peterborough  Cathedral  (done  between  1177-94,)  are 
performers  on  instruments  of  the  violin  kind,  dating 
from  the  twelfth  century.  In  one  of  these  representa- 
tions, the  incurvations  on  the  sides  of  the  body  of  the 
instrument  and  two  sound-holes  are  to  be  seen.  The 
restorations  of  1835  are  understood  to  leave  the  original 
designs  intact. 

Exeter  Cathedral  possesses  a  Minstrels'  Gallery  of 
the  fourteenth  century.  Each  of  the  twelve  niches  is 
occupied  by  a  winged  angel  supporting  an  instrument. 
Viewing  the  group  from  left  to  right,  the  following 
descriptions  of  instruments  are  seen: — 

1.  Cittern. 

2.  Bagpipe. 

3.  Clarion. 

4.  Rebec. 

5.  Psaltery. 

6.  Syrinx  (Pandean  Pipe ;  rendered  Organ  in  Bible). 

7.  Sackbut. 

8.  Regals. 

9.  Cittern  (small  guitar). 

10.  Shalm. 

11.  Timbrel. 

12.  Cymbals. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Beverley,  in  the  East  Riding  of  Yorkshire,  has  been 
especially  favoured  in  regard  to  ancient  memorials  of 

English  minstrels.     Not  only  at  the  Minster,  but  also  at 
St.  Mary's  Church,  numerous  evidences  remain  to  prove 



that  the  fraternity  of  minstrels  was  an  ancient  and 
honoured  foundation.  Under  date  1555,  orders  of  the 
ancient  company  (or  fraternity)  of  minstrels  at  Beverley 
recite  that  it  has  been  a  very  ancient  custom  for  most  of 
the  minstrels  attendant  upon  men  or  women  of  honour, 
between  the  Trent  and  Tweed,  to  annually  visit  Beverley 
on  Rogation  days,  in  order  to  choose  an  Alderman  of 
the  Minstrels,  with  stewards  and  deputies  authorized  to 
take  names  and  receive  "customable  duties"  of  the 
brethren.  A  fair  specimen  of  these  orders  is  seen  in 
that  which  (under  the  date  mentioned)  provides  that  no 
miller,  shepherd,  or  husbandman  playing1  on  pipe  or 
other  instrument  should  perform  without  authority  at 
any  wedding  or  merry-making,  outside  his  own  parish. 
The  columns  of  the  Minster  exhibit  some  curious  figures 
of  minstrels — though  the  date  of  its  erection  (temp. 
Henry  VI.)  was  during  the  decadence  of  the  craft.  The 
lute-player,  the  singer,  and  the  performer  on  pipe  and 
tabor  indicate  types  in  the  common  minstrelsy  of  the  age. 
The  highest  class  is  wanting. 

Turning  to  St.  Mary's  Church,  Beverley,  we  have  an 
interesting  proof  that  the  common  minstrels  of  the 
decadence  were  still  able  and  willing  to  do  their  share  in 
raising  a  worthy  memorial  to  the  religious  zeal  of  the 
Middle  Ages,  for  we  find  this  inscription  upon  the 
easternmost  pillar  on  the  right  side  of  the  nave: — 

^h^s  $iUor  mate  the  JtegnsturJa. 

It  appears  that  in  1520  a  portion  of  the  nave  was 
destroyed  by  the  fall  of  the  central  tower.  The  re- 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

storation  that  followed  was  voluntarily  undertaken  by 
dwellers  in  and  around  Beverley.  This  circumstance 
accounts  for  the  various  inscriptions  which  appear  on  the 
corbels  of  the  supporting1  columns  of  the  nave.  Thus  we 
read,  "Klay  and  his  wife  made  these  two  pillars  and  a 
half" — on  the  two  westernmost,  "these  two  pillars  made 
good  wives,"  and  further,  "this  pillar  made  the  min- 
strels." The  sculpture  represents  five  dimly-coloured 
minstrels,  with  chains  of  office  about  their  necks 
and  goodly  purses  hanging  from  their  waists,  and  with 
one  exception,  dressed  in  short  coats  reaching  to  the 
knees ;  while  they  are  shown  to  be  playing  upon  their 
instruments  as  follows,  from  left  to  right: — 

1.  Tabor  and  pipe. 

2.  Crwth  (or  violin). 

3.  Base  flute. 

4.  Cittern  (cittern  or  lute). 

5.  Treble  flute  a  bee  (or  perhaps  a  wayght — a  kind 

of  early  oboe). 

In  the  sculpture  the  base-flute  player  is  dressed  in  a 
longer  coat  than  his  comrades;  and  it  is  possible  that 
he  was  of  better  degree. 

Athelstan  is  credited  with  having  conferred  this  ancient 
right.  In  1610  the  minster  town  was  visited  by  the 
Plague,  and  none  of  the  inhabitants  were  for  a  time 
permitted  to  leave  Beverley  without  the  Mayor's  special 

1  An  illustration  of  the  Minstrels'  Pillar  appears  in  the  Story  of 
Notation  ("Music  Story  Series"),  page  148.  Much  more  musical-subject 
architecture  abounds  in  Beverley  Minster,  pen-and-ink  sketches  of 
which  are  in  our  possession,  and  at  the  service  of  those  interested. — ED. 



Evolution  of  Harmony—  Hucbald  —  Tenth  century  carol  —  Guido  _ 
Twelfth  century  example—  Adam  de  la  Hale—  A  French  chanson 
—  Guillaume  de  Machault  —  Bodleian  example. 

HARMONY  —  its  evolution  and  subsequent  development  — 
is  without  the  purview  of  this  little  book.  The  subject 
is,  however,  too  important  to  be  entirely  ignored.  The 
following  is  an  outline  of  the  early  attempts,  which  the 
labours  of  Coussemaker  and  others  have  made  avail- 
able for  our  purpose.  Hucbald's  examples  (given  by 
Burney)  exhibit  the  first  known  specimens  of  harmony, 
or,  to  use  the  older  expressions,  diaphony  or  organum. 
A  great  step  was  taken  when  the  succeeding  com- 
bination (in  the  example  below)  was  conceived.  Burney 

Arundel  MSS.  77,  fol.  63  b. 

Pa  -  tris    sem  -  pi  -  ter 


Te       hu   -    mi  -    les       fa 

mu    -    li 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

comments  on  it  thus: — "  Hucbald's  idea  that  one  voice 
might  wander  at  pleasure  through  the  scale,  while  the 
the  other  remains  fixed,  shows  him  to  have  been  a  man 
of  genius  and  enlarged  views,  who,  disregarding  rules, 
could  penetrate  beyond  the  miserable  practice  of  his  time, 
into  our  points  cTorgue^  pedale,  and  multifarious  harmpny 
upon  a  holding  note,  or  single  base,  and  suggest  the 
principle,  at  least,  of  the  boldest  modern  harmony. 

In  a  paper  read  before  the  Musical  Association 
(May  7th,  1888),  Dr.  Mee  brought  to  notice  a  two- 
part  hymn,  of  which  we  give  a  translation.  This 
venerable  relic  is  understood  to  have  been  written  in 
a  Benedictine  Monastery,  in  Cornwall,  during  the  latter 
part  of  the  tenth,  or  early  in  the  eleventh 
century.  The  editor  of  Early  English  Har- 
mony accepts  the  former  approximate  date. 
It  is,  of  course,  the  earliest  example  of  English  harmony 
so  far  discovered.  The  notation  is  the  old  alphabetical; 
it  is  seen  in  double  columns  immediately  above  the 
Latin  text,  thus: — 

h  g         f 

h  h         h 

Ut  t  u  o 

A  CORNISH  CAROL.  MS.  Bodleian,  572, yW.  50. 



Ut     tu  -  o  pro     -     pi  -  ti      -      a    - 

^  -«s>-  -< 


Cornish   Carol 

-C^ o — C-» — ^ 

tus,    in      -      ter  -  ven 

tu   Do     -     mi 



-     -    nus  nos 



tos    a 

-& — <s>— , 


pec  ca 

O     Q 

tis    jun     -     gat  cce 




TA0  commas  above  the  notes  indicate  a  prolongation  of  the  sounds 
so  distinguished. 

The  next  example  is  quoted  from  Guido  (circa  1030). 
It  will  be  observed  that  the  bare  fourths  of  Hucbald 
are  now  combined  with  the  holding-note,  giving  a 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

wider  scope,  and  employing  a  greater  variety  of 
intervals.  But  compared  with  the  Cornish 
Carol  just  cited,  it  scarcely  shows  any  real 
advance.  A  chronological  list  of  pieces 
does  not,  however,  necessarily  show  progress  in  each 
specimen.  Just  as  the  poetry  written  soon  after 


x^^   _^ 


//V\  •     <TJ  ^^ 

O*^  &  CJ*^ 


/"^  O  C- 


*-*  G 


Sex    - 

ta  ho  -  ra   se-dit  su-per  putenu 

'!o|'  lid!'  |WI  ' 

trill       II 


a      ^-,           <^>  ^ 

*?  ^"^ 


rj  *-**'  f^j  r^>  *—  *" 

5J  <^>  <^?  <^> 

3    ' 

^••^^            "^—  -^          ^"•""' 


Chaucer's  day  is  full  of  retrograde  tendencies,  so 
music  will  be  found  sometimes  returning  for  a  brief 
spell  to  her  recently  discarded  methods. 

During  the  succeeding  century  it  is  by  no  means  easy 
to  show  any  striking  progress ;  but  the  scanty  material 
which  has  come  down  to  us  would  alone 
account  for  this.  Perhaps  a  little  more  ease 
and  sonority  may  be  traced  in  such  a  frag- 
ment as  we  quote  beneath: — 

1.2th  Century  MS.,  Ambrose  Collection  (Milan). 


ti^^   0   o   „   e. 

&  ~  "  H 

•\\-\\  t-i  

-x~  .  ^5  _  ^__ 

Q   Q  H 
o      —  n 

\yoL    o                       G>    *~^ 

—  °  ^  °  ^-H 



There  is  more  musical  interest  in  the  little  rondeau 
by  Adam  de  la  Hale  (le  Bossu  d'Arras),  born  in  1240. 



This  Adam  de  la  Hale  was  a  late  Trouvere,  writing 
both  words  and  music,  and  probably  employing1  a 
minstrel  to  render  them.  Such  a  piece  as  the  rondeau, 
ill  adapted  as  it  is  for  performance  on  harp  or  vielle, 
obviously  could  not  have  been  designed  for  any  such 
purpose,  unless  three  minstrels  joined  in  the  perform- 
ance. It  is,  therefore,  not  unreasonable  to  see  in  such 
early  attempts  the  origin  of  musical  composition  of  an 
undoubted  artistic  design  having  no  connection  with 
the  two  popular  channels  of  musical  invention — namely, 
the  secular  song  or  dance  and  the  ecclesiastical  chant. 
RONDEAU.  Adam  de  la  Hale  1240-1285. 

Tant         com 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 




trui  que 

vous  Ja 






As  the  monumental  round  which  England  brought 
forth  during  this  period  (thirteenth  century)  has  already 
been  quoted  (p.  68),  nothing  need  here  be  added,  unless 
it  be  the  observation  that  this  remarkable  four-part 
piece  appears  to  have  been  in  advance  of  any  other 
known  music  the  world  had  so  far  produced. 

True  progress  may  be  traced,  if  we  leave  out  of  view 
the  round,  in  the  following  little  French  Chanson 
a  deux  parties: — 


Venes  k  neusches 

"    ej    fJ\ 

f— r-H 

j.       Jjjj 

r  r      *      «l- 




Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Coussemaker,  whose  translation  is  quoted,  gives  a 
facsimile  of  the  fourteenth  century  MS.  in  the  Cambrai 

Library.  Like  many 
songs  of  the  period, 
each  voice  had  an  in- 
dependent set  of  words; 
so  that  in  the  above 
piece  the  upper  voice 
sang  "Vene"s  a  neus- 
ches  sans  detri,"  etc., 
while  the  lower  had 
these,  "Vechi  Thermite," 
etc.  In  the  second  bar 
it  will  not  fail  to  be 
seen  that  the  dominant 

FIG.  10.— FOURTEENTH   CENTURY  MINSTREL.        SCVCttth     is     SUgg6Sted,     if 

not    actually   employed. 

That  it  was  no  chance  combination  the  following  little 
passage  from  Guillaume  de  Machault  (1364)  serves  to 
illustrate1: — 



ra       pax. 


1  The  whole  passage  is  given  in  Grove's  Dictionary  of  Afttsic,  iii. 
p.  12  (new  ed.,  p.  787). 


Dominant  Seventh 

Our  last  illustration  in  this  rapid  sketch  is  chosen 
from  an  Oxford  MS.  of  the  same  century  (fourteenth). 
On  the  first  syllable  of  the  word  "munditias"  will  be 
seen  another  (incomplete)  dominant  seventh.  It  lacks 
the  major  third,  but  no  other  interval  could  be  added. 
The  curious  gravitation  from  tonic  to  dominant  is 
pregnant  of  the  idea  which  some  two  centuries  later 
Monteverde  developed  to  such  an  extent  as  to  revolu- 
tionize by  its  aid  the  whole  scheme  of  harmonic  music. 

From  an  English  Gradual  (357  Bodleian,  iqth  Century). 

M     •  J-J  *> 

H  o 



Vir  -  go      pu  -   di  -  ci   -    ti  -   ae       fe  -  rens     ti  -  tu-lum 

-f~\     ^-^     ^r"' 


Ma  -  ri  -   a      mun  -  di    -    ti  -   ae    pro-mens  spe  -  cu  -  lum 
-K  I.  K  i 

-.  ,  ^. 

Cas  -  ti  -    ta  -  tis       re    -    gi  -   a       pa  -  ris    par  -  vu  -  lum 

Cu-jus     est     per     om  -   ni  -  a     mi  -  na  -  re    sae-cu-lum. 

Illustration  has  already  been  given  in  these  pages  of 
the  Dunstable  period — the  fifteenth  century  (see  p.  93). 
We  add  a  short  example  by  one  of  his  contemporaries. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

The  rise  and  decline  of  the  great  contrapuntal  schools 
which   closed   partially   with    Palestrina   in    1594,    and 


From  a  i^th  Century  Bodleian  MS. 

-0-     -5-3-  -&- 

CJ    • 

.—  ,     —  1     ... 


~r?~s  i 
-0-  1 




ifo     I  —  UJ- 


^^    c^ 

C3    4^ 

C?               1    1        1        1 

y  d  Q  "  '  ' 
-o-'         ~^~* 

1  1  fls-«_j  1-4  1  j  1 
-°-    «      rJ    ^        ~Q-'             -S-"    « 

/>j\  • 


fV      «—  '     • 

_J^_!  ~  

>Z^      ^3   •'    ' 

^       1     , 

J         ^ 

1  — 

ffK     ,^-j 





1         1 



I  ey 


i      1 


_Q    .                                                        _^_ 

^Z±}-n    - 

-^  — 

_f±I  <C^  







j:  J.'« 






finally  with  Bach  in  1750,  need  no  more  than  a  passing 
reference.  Enough  has  been  brought  forward  to  show 
that  the  progress  of  harmony  was  aided  in  the  highest 
degree  by  secular  musicians,  whether  minstrels  or  their 



Chaucer  and  music — "Angelus  ad  Virginem" — Glasgerion — The  Raye 
— Symphonic — Hornpipes  of  Cornewaile — Shakespeare  and  music 
— "  Hold  thy  peace,  knave  " — "  Hey,  Robin !" — Autolycus'  songs 
—"Heart's -ease." 

IT  has  been  well  said  that  "Before  Chaucer  wrote,  there 
were  two  tongues  in  England,  keeping  alive  the  feuds 

and  resentments  of  cruel  centuries;  when  he 
1328-1400  laid  down  his  pen,  there  was  practically  but 

one  speech;  there  was,  and  ever  since  has 
been,  but  one  people."  We  shall  not  pretend  that  the 
poet  was  a  minstrel  in  any  other  than  a  poetic  sense  of 
the  word.  It  has  already  been  seen  that  minstrelsy  was 
on  the  decline,  and  so  could  offer  but  few  attractions 
as  a  career.  Chaucer's  references  to  music  are  too 
valuable,  however,  to  be  passed  over;  so  we  proceed 
to  a  consideration  of  some  of  the  most  remarkable. 

We  have  not  to  search  far.     In  the  prologue  of  the 
Canterbury  Tales,  we  read  of  the  "  yonge  Squier" — 

"  Singing  he  was,  or  floyting  alle  the  day, 
He  was  as  fresshe  as  is  the  moneth  of  May. 

He  coude  songes  make,  and  wel  endite, 
Juste  and  eke  dance,  and  wel  pourtraie  and  write." 


The  Squire's  musical  education  had  evidently  not 
been  neglected.  Later  the  Frere's  abilities  are  thus 
set  down  : — 

"  And  certainly  he  hadde  a  mery  note. 
Wei  coude  he  singe  and  plaien  on  a  rote. 
Of  yeddinges1  he  bare  utterly  the  pris." 

The  rote  was  in  all  likelihood  a  form  of  hurdy-gurdy, 
or  vielle.  A  reference  to  this  instrument  is  contained 
in  the  lines  from  "  Midas  " — 

"  Whom  have  we  here  ?  a  sightly  swain  and  sturdy, 
Hum !  plays,  I  see,  upon  the  hurdy-gurdy." 

Chaucer  speaks  of  harmony,  heard  in  the  vision  of 
' «  The  House  of  Fame  "  :— 

"  And  the  heavenly  melodic 
Of  songes  full  of  armonie, 
I  heard  about  her  throne  ysong 
That  all  the  palais  walles  rung." 

Again,  in  "  Troilus  and  Cresseide": — 

"  And  there  he  saw,  with  full  advisement, 
Th'  erratic  starres  heark'ning  harmony, 
With  soundes  full  of  heav'nly  melody." 

Among  the  few  instances  where  the  poet  has  named 
a  particular  song,  quotation  may  be  made  of  the 
following  verses  from  "The  Miller's  Tale":— 

1  "Yeddinges,"  derived  from  the  Saxon  "geddian,"  to  sing,  stands 
for  songs. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

"  And  all  above  there  lay  a  gay  psalt'ry 
On  which  he  made  at  nightes  melody, 
So  sweetely  that  all  the  chamber  rang; 
And  Angelus  ad  Virginem  he  sang. 
And  after  that  he  sung  the  king^s  note; 
Full  often  blessed  was  his  merry  throat, 
And  thus  this  sweete  clerk  his  time  spent 
After  his  friendes  finding  and  his  rent." 

The  melody  of  the  Angelus  ad  Virginem  is  preserved 
in  a  manuscript  written  before  the  birth  of  Chaucer, 
which  we  quote.  That  this  was  the  only  air  cannot 
now  be  determined,  but  its  popularity  is  somewhat 
confirmed  by  at  least  one  other  version  of  about  the 
same  period — early  fourteenth  century. 

•f — 1- 


"Angelus  ad  Virginem" 




An-ge-lus  ad    Vir-gin-em,  Sub   in-transin    con  •   cTa  -  ve 
Vir- gin-is  for  -  mi- di-nem  De  mulcens  in  -  quit       A  -  ve. 


^  j.  j  jj- 

•*-    -^-  >  .d-  v  ^  Hi — °~      - 

A  -   ve      Re   -   gi  -  na     Vir  -  gin  -  num,       Cce  -   li      ter 

rae-que  Do  -  mi  -  num      Con  -  ci  -  pi  -  es,    et     pa  -  ri  -  es    in 

tac  -  ta    Sa  -  lu  -  tem,      ho  -  mi   -   num 

T2-   -«»-  TT   -G^:.^:-e*-  rWI 
coe    -     li          fac  -  ta,  Me  -de  -  la         cri       -    mi    -    num. 

Perhaps  the  following  were  songs  of  Chaucer's  day, 
though  there  seems  no  means  of  identifying  them; 
indeed,  the  older  poets  and  writers  rarely  distinguished 
between  a  quoted  or  original  song,  the  necessity  for 
such  distinction  only  arising  with  the  lapse  of  time: — 

"  Now,  dear  lady,  if  thy  will  be, 
I  pray  that  ye  will  rue  on  me." 

— "  Miller's  Tale." 

"  Come  hither,  love,  to  me." 

— Prologue,  Canterbury  Tales. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

"  O  May,  with  all  thy  flowers  and  thy  green, 
Right  welcome  be  thou,  faire  freshe  May, 
I  hope  that  I  some  green  here  getten  may." 

— "  Knight's  Tale." 

"  Farewell,  have  good  day." 

— "  Knight's  Tale." 

"  Heried  be  thou  and  thy  name, 
Goddess  of  renown  and  fame." 

— "  House  of  Fame." 

Chaucer's  picture  of  the  gentle  Pardoner  singing  an 
offertory,  and  afterwards  preaching  a  sermon  to 
"winne  silver,"  may  be  taken  as  a  satire  on  the 
rapacity  of  unscrupulous  churchmen: — 

"  But  truely  to  tellen  at  the  last, 
He  was  in  church  a  noble  ecclesiast. 
Well  could  he  read  a  lesson  or  a  story, 
But  alderbest  he  sang  an  offertory; 
For  well  he  wiste,  when  that  song  was  sung, 
He  muste  preach,  and  well  afile  his  tongue, 
To  winne  silver,  as  he  right  well  could; 
Therefore  he  sang  full  merrily  and  loud." 

— Prologue,  Canterbury  Tales. 

In  another  passage  in  "The  House  of  Fame"  thei 
is  mention  of  the  "great  Glasgerion": — 

"  There  heard  I  play  upon  a  harp, 
That  sounded  bothe  well  and  sharp, 
Him,  Orpheus,  full  craftily; 
And  on  his  side  faste  by 
Satte  the  harper  Arion, 
And  eke  ^Eacides  Chiron; 



And  other  harpers  many  a  one 
And  the  great  Glasgerion; 
And  smalle  harpers,  with  their  glees, 
Satte  under  them  in  sees. 

Then  saw  I  standing  them  behind, 

Afar  from  them,  all  by  themselve, 

Many  thousand  times  twelve, 

That  made  loude  minstrelsies 

In  cornmuse  [bagpipe]  and  eke  in  shawmies, 

And  in  many  another  pipe, 

That  craftily  began  to  pipe, 

Both  in  dulcet  and  in  reed, 

That  be  at  feastes  with  the  bride. 

And  many  a  flute  and  lilting  horn, 

And  pipes  made  of  greene  corn, 

As  have  these  little  herde-grooms, 

That  keepe  beastes  in  the  brooms." 

This  Glasgerion,  according  to  the  ballad  of  the  same 
name,1  was  a  king's  son,  and  a  harper  withal;  he 
wears  a  collar  or  gold  chain,  showing  his  rank,  rides 
on  horseback,  and  courts  a  king's  daughter.  The 
verses  thus  speak  of  a  period  when  minstrelsy  was 
in  its  prime. 

Many  of  the  instruments  of  which  Chaucer  wrote,  it 
may  be  reasonably  assumed,  were  extant  in  his  own 
day: — 

"  Of  all  manner  of  minstrales 

And  gestiours  that  telle  tales, 

Both  of  weeping  and  of  game, 

Of  all  that  longeth  unto*  Fame." 

1  It  is  given  in  Percy's  Reliques. 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

The  picture  is  not  always  a  flattering  one,  for  in 
"  The  Pardoner's  Tale  "  we  read  of— 

"  A  company 

Of  younge  folkes,  that  haunted  folly, 
As  riot,  hazard,  stewes,  and  taverns; 
Whereas  with  lutes,  harpes,  and  giterns, 
They  dance  and  play  at  dice  both  day  and  night, 
And  eat  also,  and  drink  over  their  might." 

Further  in  the  same  poem  we  read  of — 

*c  Singers  with  harpes,  baudes,  waferers, 
Which  be  the  very  devil's  officers." 

A  serenade  is  given  in  "The  Miller's  Tale,"  though 
it  does  not  appear  that  the  song  which  Absolon  sings 
is  one  now  known: — 

"  The  moon  at  night  full  clear  and  brighte  shone, 
And  Absolon  his  gitern  y-taken. 
He  singeth  in  his  voice  gentle  and  small; 
Now,  dear  lady,  if  thy  will  be, 
I  pray  that  ye  will  rue  on  me; 
Full  well  accordant  to  his  giterning." 

Dancing  is  often  alluded  to  by  Chaucer,  as  in  the 
same  poem — 

11  But  of  her  song,  it  was  as  loud  and  yern  [shrill] 
As  any  swallow  chittering  on  a  bern. 
Thereto  she  coulde  skip,  and  make  a  game, 
As  any  kid  or  calf  following  his  dame." 

The  Raye 

Further  in  the  same  piece,  Hendy  Nicholas 

"  Taketh  his  psalt'ry 
And  playeth  fast,  and  maketh  melody." 

He  had  learned  his  dancing  at  Oxford: — 

"  In  twenty  manners  could  he  trip  and  dance, 
After  the  school  of  Oxenforde  tho  [then], 
And  with  his  legges  caste  to  and  fro; 
And  playen  songes  on  a  small  ribible; 
Thereto  he  sung  sometimes  a  loud  quinible, 
And  as  well  could  he  play  on  a  gitern. 
In  all  the  town  was  brewhouse  nor  tavern, 
That  he  not  visited  with  his  solas, 
There  as  that  any  gaillard  tapstere  was." 

The  ribible,  or  rebeck,  was  an  early  class  of  fiddle; 
quinible  stands  for  treble.  In  another  place,  an  old 
woman  is  described  as  "an  old  ribibe";  from  an 
analogy  of  shrillness,  "an  old  rebeck"  is  used  in  the 
same  sense.1 

The  Raye  (spelt  also  Hay  and  Hey)  was  an  old 
country-dance,  in  which  the  performers  first  stood  in 
a  ring  and  proceeded  winding  round,  joining  hands  in 
passing.  Chaucer,  in  "  The  House  of  Fame,"  refers 
to  the  dance  in  the  following  verse: — 

"  There  saw  I  famous,  old  and  young, 
Pipers  of  alle  Dutche  tongue, 
To  learne  love-dances  and  springs, 
Reyes,  and  these  strange  things." 

1  "  Friar's  Tale." 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

The  tune  is  copied  from  Mustek's  Handmaid^   Part   I, 
(1678) :- 



I    I    I 

J.^-  J 









, j 


4T1-! C-L-i- 



The  Symphonie 

In  Love's  Labour's  Lost  there  is  the  following: — 

"/?#//.  I'll  make  one  in  a  dance,  or  so;  or  I  will  play 

On  the  tabor  to  the  worthies,  and  let  them  dance 

the  Hay. 
Hoi.  Most  dull,  honest  Dull." 

Hackluyt  also  mentions  this  ancient  dance  in  the 
Voyages  (iii.  200): — "Some  of  the  mariners  thought 
we  were  in  the  Bristow  Channell,  and  other  in  Silly 
Channell ;  so  that,  through  variety  of  judgements  and 
evill  marinership,  we  were  faine  to  dance  the  Hay  foure 
dayes  together,  sometimes  running  to  the  north-east, 
sometimes  to  the  south-east,  and  again  to  the  east  and 

The  symphonic1 — described  as  "an  instrument  of 
music  made  of  a  hollow  tree,  closed  in  leather  on  either 
side,  and  minstrels  beat  it  with  sticks  " — is  mentioned 
in  "  Sir  Topaz":— 

"  Here  is  the  queen  of  Faerie, 
With  hap  and  pipe  and  symphonic, 
Dwelling  in  this  place." 

Martial   music   is    thus    indicated   in    "  The    Knight's 

"  Pipes,  trompes,  nakers,  and  clariounes, 
That  in  the  bataille  blowen  blody  sounes." 

The  music  of  the  organ  is  commonly    referred   to  in 
such  passages  as  these  : — 

1  "Nevertheless  the  accord  of  all  sounds  hight  symphonia,  is  like- 
wise as  the  accord  of  diverse  voices  hight  chorus" — BARTHOLOM^US. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

"  His  voice  was  merrier  than  the  merry  orgon 
On  Masse  days  that  in  the  churches  gon." 

—"Nun's  Priest's  Tale." 

"And  while  the  organs  playen  melody 
Thus  in  her  heart  to  God  alone  sang  she." 

If  to  the  instruments  mentioned  we  add  the  sackbut, 
fiddle,  crouth,  cittole,  and  hautboy,  Chaucer's  orchestra 
is  complete.  In  the  "  Romant  of  the  Rose"  Chaucer 
has  mentioned  "  hornpipes  of  Cornewaile,"  which  is 
understood  to  refer  to  an  instrument  like  the  Welsh 
pib-corn — "a  reed  or  whistle,  with  a  horn  fixed  to  it 
by  the  smaller  end  " — which  afterwards  gave  its  name 
to  the  dance.  The  Cornewaile  referred  to  is  in 
Bretagne.  In  the  "  Franklin's  Tale  "  we  read  that — 

"  These  olde  gentle  Bretons,  in  their  days, 
Of  divers  aventures  made  lays, 
Rhymeden  in  their  firste  Breton  tongue; 
Which  layes  with  their  instruments  they  sung, 
Or  elles  reade  them  for  their  pleasance." 

Roundelets,  complaints,  virelayes  are  often  met  with 
in  Chaucer,  whose  ditees,  rondils,  balades,  and  songs 
also  distinguish  to  a  nicety  the  class  of  lyric  intended. 
Some  of  these  are  referred  to  in  Appendix  B  (p.  324). 

Everything    associated    with    the    memory    of    our 
greatest  poet  is  fitly  held  in  veneration  by  the  English- 
speaking  races;  indeed,  this  sentiment  has 

led  to  an  attempt  to  stay  the  hand  of  Time 
speare  „  .   , 

as   affecting   the   material    monuments   and 

edifices   of    his   day.     Music,    owing    to    its    inherent 



vitality,  can  never  decay.  It  is,  therefore,  the  more 
remarkable  that  so  little  attempt  has  hitherto  been 
made  to  cast  the  light  of  its  pages  on  those  old  times 
from  which  every  scrap  of  poetry  and  snatch  of  song 
come  to  us  as  of  priceless  value.  The  best  collection 
of  harmonized  airs  of  Shakespeare's  period  is  seen  in  the 
Fitzwilliam  Virginal  Book.  (See  Appendix  A,  p.  312.) 
In  studying  such  early  harmonizations  the  modern 
musician  will  need  to  make  some  allowance  for  their 
comparative  antiquity.  He  may,  however,  be  assured 
quite  confidently  that  if  he  will  lend  a  patient  ear  to 
these  old  ditties  and  allow  their  quaint  expressiveness 
full  play,  something  of  their  old-world  charm,  exquisite 
grace,  and  antique  humour  will  creep  into  his  mind  and 
soul.  They  will  remain  for  him  an  abiding  possession 
— the  supreme  test  of  all  true  song. 

Shakespeare,  of  all  the  poets,  makes  the  most  con- 
sistent use  of  fragments  and  snatches  of  old  traditional 
ballads.  Twelfth  Night  is  especially  fruitful  of  these : — 

"  If  music  be  the  food  of  love,  play  on; 
Give  me  excess  of  it,  that,  surfeiting, 
The  appetite  may  sicken,  and  so  die. 
That  strain  again  !  it  had  a  dying  fall." 

Having  introduced  the  play  with  the  above  words, 
there  follows  (in  Act  ii.  Sc.  3)  the  song,  "O  mistress 
mine,"  the  music  of  which  is  given  in  Morley's  Consort 
Lessons  (1599)  and  in  almost  every  collection  of  our 
own  day.  "Hold  thy  peace,"  the  catch  which  imme- 
diately follows,  is  thus  given  by  Hawkins: — 

241  R 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

CN  1  »     m               x   m  •        mm 


aiLi-*^  J  ?  *_f_ 

HJ  hi-—  0  

44-W  *  "-HF  —  i^  —  ^  
Hold     thy  peace,  and  I      prithee  hold  thy  p 

,_         «                  JL 

.,  1 


m  1 

•       ~"        |                 It 

UN-H—  f  *  

-5        f  1  * 

1  ^  1 

tfs--5^  1  

-]/.  f.  

1  1  

Thou  knave,                      Hold  thy  peace,    thou  knave, 

tKUTT  P  *  

4WH-^  1  1  

Thou  knave. 

The  humour  of  the  catch  lies  in  each  singer  being  called 
in  turn  a  knave.  When  the  Clown  is  asked  to  begin, 
he  exclaims — 

"  I  shall  be  constrained  in't  to  call  thee  knave,  knight. 

Sir  And.  'Tis  not  the  first  time  I  have  constrained  one  to 

call  me  knave. 
Begin,  fool;  it  begins,  Hold  thy  peace. 

Clo.  I  shall  never  begin  if  I  hold  my  peace." 

When  this  "  caterwauling "  is  suddenly  interrupted, 
Sir  Toby  utters  the  names  of  several  old  songs.  Such 
are  "  Peg-a-Ramsey,"  to  which  there  are  two  tunes 
remaining;  the  more  popular  being  associated  with 
Durfey's  words,  "Oh,  London  is  a  fine  town!"  and 
"Three  merry  men  be  we,"  for  which  Playford  has  an 
air  (MS.  Commonplace  Book).  "  Tillyvally,  Lady," 
is  a  mere  scrap,  as  it  comes  to  us,  and  "  There  dwelt 
a  man  in  Babylon "  is  traditionally  sung  to  a  queer 
version  of"  Greensleeves."  To  "  Farewell,  dear  heart," 
allusion  is  made  on  page  284.  Another  traditional  tune 


"Hey!   Robin,  jolly  Robin!" 

to  the  same  words  is  quoted  by  Dr.  Naylor  {Shakespeare 
and  Music ',  p.  190).  The  air  to  "  O,  the  twelfth  day  of 
December  !"  is  lost.  The  Duke's  preface  (Act  ii.  Sc.  4) 
to  the  Clown's  song  is  music  in  itself: — 

"Duke.  O,  fellow,  come,  the  song  we  had  last  night, 
Mark  it,  Cesario,  it  is  old  and  plain; 
The  spinsters  and  the  knitters  in  the  sun 
And  the  free  maids  that  weave  their  thread  with 


Do  use  to  chant  it;  it  is  silly  sooth, 
And  dallies  with  the  innocence  of  love, 
Like  the  old  age. 
Song.  Come  away,  come  away,  death, 

And  in  sad  cypress  let  me  be  laid." 

The  original  air  is  not  known.     In  Act  iv.  the  Clown 


"  Hey  !  Robin,  jolly  Robin, 
Tell  me  how  thy  lady  does,"  etc. 

Sir  Thomas  Wyat  has  commonly  been  credited  with 
the  words  of  this  song,  but  Percy  observes  that  "the 
discerning  reader  will  probably  judge  it  to  belong  to 
a  more  obsolete  writer."  The  traditional  tune  runs 
thus — 

Hey!  Ro-bin,   jol-ly  Ro-bin,  Tell  me  how  thy    la -dy  does; 

.VI   ii 

j  J  H 

m       *        II 

Heyl  Ro-bin,   jol-ly  Ro-bin,  Tell  me  how  thy     la  -dy  does, 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Of  the  other  clown's  song  in  this  act  the  music 
remaining  is  only  fragmentary.  The  play  ends  with 
a  song,  viz.  :•»- 

"  When  that  I  was  a  little  tiny  boy," l 

and  the  traditional  air  is  still. in  popular  use. 

The  songs  in  As  You  Like  It  are  six.  Amiens'  song 
of  "Under  the  greenwood  tree"  (Act  ii.  Sc.  5),  of 
which  the  air  is  preserved  in  the  Dancing  Master  (1686), 
and  "Pills  to  purge  melancholy"  (iv.  122;  1719). 
Arne's  later  setting  has  secured  a  greater  popularity, 
both  in  this  and  the  succeeding  song — viz.,  "Blow, 
blow,  thou  winter  wind  "  (Act  ii.  Sc.  7),  of  which  the 
traditional  air  is  lost.  Hilton  has  set  the  song,  "What 
shall  he  have  that  kill'd  the  deer  "  (Act  iv.  Sc.  2),  and 
it  appears  likely  that  his  late  sixteenth-century  setting 
is  the  original.  The  Page's  song  in  Act  v.  Sc.  3,  "It 
was  a  lover  and  his  lass,"  was  set  to  music  by  Thomas 
Morley,  and  is  found  in  Morley's  Little  Short  Airs 
(1600),  and  in  manuscript  in  the  Advocates'  Library, 
Edinburgh.  No  other  music  is  tolerated  in  connection 
with  these  words.  There  is  no  known  original  setting 
to  the  two  final  songs  given  to  Hymen  in  the  last 
scene — viz.,  "Then  is  there  mirth  in  heaven,"  and 
"  Wedding  is  great  Juno's  crown." 

Dr.  Burney,  in  pronouncing  Autolycus'  ditties  as 
"  two  nonsensical  songs,"  roused  the  anger  of  Steevens. 
Burney  subsequently  observed  that  "this  rogue  Auto- 
lycus is  the  true  ancient  minstrel  in  the  old  Fabliaux;  " 
1  Compare,  also,  "  He  that  has  a  little  tiny  wit."— Lear,  Act  iii.  Sc.  2. 

Pedlars'  Songs 

to  which  Steevens  replied,  "  Many  will  push  the  com- 
parison a  little  further,  and  concur  with  me  in  think- 
ing that  our  modern  minstrels,  like  their  predecessor 
Autolycus,  are  pickpockets  as  well  as  singers  of  '  non- 
sensical ballads.'"  The  Winter's  Tale  contains  three 
songs,  and  mentions  the  names  of  others  once  popular. 
"When  daffodils  begin  to  peer" — the  music  of  which 
was  obtained  by  Ritson  for  his  English  Songs  "  not 
without  some  difficulty" — comes  at  the  beginning  of 
Scene  3,  Act  iv.  The  Pedlar's  second  song,  "Jog  on, 
jog  on  the  footpath  way,"  is  possibly  a  quotation  of  an 
older  ballad.  The  air  is  the  very  last  piece  in  the  Fitz- 
william  Virginal  Book  arranged  by  Richard  Farnaby 
under  the  title  "Hanskin."  The  words  are  in  An 
Antidote  against  Melancholy  (1661),  with  eight  additional 
verses,  usually  printed  in  the  modern  copies.  How 
excellent  is  the  servant's  recommendation  of  the  Pedlar 
and  his  wares  in  Sc.  4: — 

"  Servant.  O  master,  if  you  did  but  hear  the  pedlar  at  the 
door,  you  would  never  dance  again  after  a  tabor  and  pipe ;  no, 
the  bagpipe  could  not  move  you;  he  sings  several  tunes  faster 
than  you'll  tell  money;  he  utters  them  as  he  had  eaten  ballads 
and  all  men's  ears  grew  to  his  tunes." 

"  I  love  a  ballad  but  even  too  well,"  says  the  Clown 
in  reply.  "Whoop  do  me  no  harm,  good  man"  is  a 
fragmentary  line,  of  which  the  rest  of  the  ballad  is  lost. 
An  air — a  somewhat  poor  one — has  been  preserved  by 
Corkine.  Other  songs  in  The  Winter's  Tale  are  "  Lawn 
as  white  as  driven  snow,"  "Get  you  hence  for  I  must 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

go,"  and  "  Will  you  buy  any  tape?"  —  the  last-named 
being  set  as  a  round  by  John  Jenkins,  the  composer  of 
"A  boat,  a  boat,  haste  o'er  the  ferry."  Under  the 
spell  of  the  ballad,  Mopsa  becomes  loquacious:  —  "  I  love 
a  ballad,"  says  she,  "in  print  o'  life,  for  then  we  are 
sure  they  are  true."  Out  of  his  wonderful  store,  the 
Pedlar  produces  "The  Usurer's  Wife,"  "Of  a  Fish," 
and  "  Two  Maids  wooing1  a  Man." 

How  strangely  the  text  reads  nowadays.  As  the 
last-named  ballad  is  produced,  Mopsa  exclaims,  "  We 
can  both  sing  it;  if  thou'lt  bear  a  part,  thou  shalt  hear; 
'tis  in  three  parts."  So  the  two  shepherdesses  and  the 
pedlar  have  at  it  without  more  ado. 

The  third  act  of  Love's  Labour's  Lost  opens  thus  — 

"  Armado.  Warble,  child;  make  passionate  my  sense  of 

Moth.  Concolinel.      S 

Burney  remarks  on  this  —  "This  is  a  most  beautiful 
and  comprehensive  request;  none  of  the  fine  arts  can 
subsist,  or  give  rapture,  without  passion.  Hence, 
mediocrity  is  more  intolerable  in  them  than  in  other 
inventions.  Music  without  passion  is  as  monotonous 
as  the  tolling  of  a  bell.  But,"  he  continues,  "  no  song 
is  printed;  though  the  author  tells  us  there  is  singing." 
Dr.  Johnson  says  —  "  Here  is  apparently  a  song  lost." 
The  ballad  of  "  The  King  and  the  Beggar  "  is  mentioned 
thus  in  Act.  i.  Sc.  2:  — 

'•'•Armado.  Is  there  not  a  ballad,  boy,  of  'The  King  and  the 


Innoxious   Efficacy  of  Music 

Moth.  The  world  was  very  guilty  of  such  a  ballad  some  three 
ages  since,  but  I  think  now  'tis  not  to  be  found;  or,  if  it  were, 
it  would  neither  serve  for  the  writing  nor  the  tune." 

The  ballad,  "  King  Cophetua  and  the  Beggar-maid," 
is  given  in  Percy's  Reliques.  Shakespeare  alludes  to 
it  in  Romeo  and  Juliet  and  in  Henry  IV.  (Part  II).  An 
unattractive  air  is  quoted  by  Chappell,  entitled,  "  I 
often  with  my  Jenny  strove,"  which  may  be  the  original. 
For  the  fragment,  "Thou  canst  not  hit  it,  my  good 
man,"  a  tune  is  preserved  in  Dr.  Fell's  MS.  (1620), 
Music  School,  Oxford.  Lastly,  come  the  best  songs 
in  the  play — viz.,  "  When  daisies  pied  and  violets  blue," 
and  "When  icicles  hang  by  the  wall,"  both  of  which 
(in  the  absence  of  traditional  settings)  Dr.  Arne  has 
appropriated  and  dressed  in  tasteful  melody. 

Measure  for  Measure  (Act.  iv.  Sc.  i)  contains  the 
well-known  "Take,  O  take  those  lips  away,"  with 
its  single  stanza.  Beaumont  and  Fletcher's  Bloody 
Brother  offers  two  stanzas.  Possibly  the  song  is 
older  than  either  drama.  Dr.  Wilson's  air,  printed 
in  Playford's  Select  Musical  Ayres  (1653),  is  perhaps 
the  original.  There  are  many  later  settings.  Com- 
menting on  the  following  passage  : — 

• "  'Tis  good ;  though  music  oft  hath  such  a  charm 
To  make  bad  good,  and  good  provoke  to  harm." 

Burney  objects — "This  is  a  heavy  charge  which  it 
would  not  have  been  easy  for  Shakespeare  to  sub- 
stantiate, and  does  not  agree  with  what  he  says  in 
The  Tempest  of  the  innoxious  efficacy  of  music — 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

'  Sounds  and  sweet  airs  that  give  delight  and  hurt 
not.''  Burney  adds,  "  Montesquieu's  assertion  is  still 
in  force;  that  'Music  is  the  only  one  of  all  the  arts 
which  does  not  corrupt  the  mind.' " 

"Who  is  Sylvia?"  the  only  song  in  The  Two 
Gentlemen  of  Verona  (Act  iv.  Sc.  2),  must  have  had 
a  good  setting  originally,  for  the  Host  says,  "Hark! 
what  fine  change  is  in  the  music,"  which  would  be 
meaningless  without  a  good  melody  to  justify  it. 
Leveridge's  music  (recently  reprinted)  is  the  best 
English  version,  which  as  a  mere  melody  is  scarcely 
inferior  to  Schubert's  famous  air.  An  old  ballad  of 
"Light  of  Love,"  alluded  to  in  Act  i.  Scene  2,  seems 
to  have  been  a  favourite  with  Shakespeare,  who 
mentions  it  again  in  Much  Ado  about  Nothing  (Act  iii. 
Sc.  4)  as  a  dancing  tune.  "  Clap  us  into  Light  o'  Love, 
that  goes  without  a  burden;  do  you  sing  it  and  I'll 
dance  it."  The  air  is  preserved  in  William  Ballet's 
MS.  Lute  Book  and  Mustek's  Delight  on  the  Cithren 
(1666);  it  has  also  been  many  times  reprinted. 

Portia  asks  for  a  song,  in  The  Merchant  of  Venice 
(Act  iii.  Sc.  2),  while  Bassanio  considers  his  choice 
of  caskets,  thus — 

"  Let  music  sound  while  he  doth  make  his  choice ; 
Then  if  he  lose,  he  makes  a  swan-like  end, 
Fading  in  music." 

"  Tell  me  where  is  fancy  bred?"  is  then  given. 

In  The  Tempest  (Act  ii.  Sc.  i),  Ariel's  song,  "While 
you  here  do  snoring  lie "  seems  to  have  no  ancient 


"Midsummer  Night's  Dream" 

setting1.  Of  the  "  scurvy  tunes  "  which  follow,  "  I  shall 
no  more  to  Sea"  was  sung1  to  "The  Children  in  the 
Wood"  (see  Chappell);  the  air  to  "The  Master,  the 
Swabber,  the  Boatswain  and  I "  is  quoted  by  Dr. 
Naylor  (Shakespeare  and  Music,  p. .  191).  The  music 
of  the  catch,  "  Flout  'em  and  Scout  'em,"  has  not  been 
preserved.  Similarly,  Juno's  song*,  "Honour,  Riches, 
Marriage-blessing,"  with  its  pendent  reply  of  Ceres' 
"  Earth's  increase,"  need  not  detain  us.  The  first 
musical  settings  of  Ariel's,  "Where  the  Bee  sucks" 
and  "  Full  Fathom  Five,"  were  by  Robert  Johnson — 
Shakespeare's  contemporary.  These  are  now  reprinted 
in  Sir  Frederick  Bridge's  Shakespeare  Songs,  which 
further  contain  "  Come  unto  these  Yellow  Sands,"  by 
Banister;  an  early  version  of  "  Full  Fathom  Five"  (by 
the  same)  and  Humfreys'  music  to  "Where  the  Bee 
sucks."  It  is  no  wonder  that  verse  so  singable  should 
have  attracted  many  composers — Purcell  foremost  of 
them  all,  with  Arne  not  far  behind. 

The  Midsummer  Night's  Dream,  suggestive  though 
it  is  of  music,  owing  largely  to  Mendelssohn's  treat- 
ment of  it,  nevertheless  contains  but  two  songs  calling* 
for  music — viz.,  "Ye  Spotted  Snakes"  (well  set  as  a 
glee  by  Stevens)  and  "  Now  until  the  Break  of  Day" — 
a  song  and  dance.  No  ancient  settings  are  known. 

To  close  this  short  notice  of  some  of  Shakespeare's 
ballads  and  ditties,  a  summary  only  is  added  of  the  most 
prominent  songs  not  hitherto  mentioned.  Ophelia's 
songs  in  Hamlet,  "  How  should  I  your  True  Love 
know?"  "Good  Morrow,  'tis  St.  Valentine's  Day," 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

"  They  bore  him  barefaste  "  (a  fragment  only),  "  Bonny 
Sweet  Robin,"  and  "And  will  he  not  Come  Again?" 
are  all  well  known  through  the  traditional  airs.  The 
Fitzwilliam  Virginal  Book  preserves  "  Bonny  Sweet 
Robin"  (No.  15  .by  John  Munday,  and  No.  128  by 
Giles  Farnaby),  but  only  one  line  of  the  ballad  is 
extant.  For  Desdemona's  song,  "Willow,  willow," 
besides  the  traditional  air,  there  is  a  setting  by  Pelham 
Humfreys  (reprinted  by  Sir  F.  Bridge).  Greene  has 
left  an  excellent  version  of  "  Orpheus  with  his  Lute" 
(Henry  VIII. ,  Act  iii.  Sc.  i),  which  ought  to  be  more 
widely  known  than  it  is.  The  words  of  "  Heart's  Ease  " 
are  not  known;  the  tune — not  later  than  1560 — is  as 
follows: — 

"  Peter.  Musicians,  O  musicians,  Heart's  ease,  Heart's  ease  ! 
O,  an  you  will  have  me  live,  play  Heart's  ease." 

(fo  r/  j  <-j 

3EL_   EjE 



i     p= 




Ballads— Dance-tunes — Nobilitas  Ornata— Thirteenth-century  dance- 
tune —  "  Sellenger's  Round  "  —  Cushion  dance  —  Trenchmore  — 
Earliest  printed  ballad — Walsingham — Robin  Hood  Ballad — 
Hanging-tunes— "Come  o'er  the  bourn,  Bessy" — "Robin,  lend 
to  me  thy  bow  " — Dorset's  sea-song. 

ANY  one  coming  straight  from  a  consideration  of  the 
airs  of  his  native  country  will  no  doubt  be  excused 
a  reasonable  enthusiasm  and  pride,  partly  justified, 
partly  extravagant.  Rashly  or  no,  the  present  writer 
hazards  the  statement  that  the  folk-song  of  England 
is  the  most  wonderful  in  the  world.  Like  our  literature, 
it  possesses  a  wider  range  than  any  other;  in  the  same 
manner,  it  deals  with  the  history  of  a  people  who, 
whatever  their  faults,  have  still  maintained  a  leading 
place  in  the  direction  of  the  world's  affairs  for  at  least 
some  several  centuries.  Therefore  is  it  that  we  find 
the  bulk  of  our  songs  of  exceedingly  practical  import. 
There  has  been  less  time  for  the  study  of  Nature,  and 
an  immensely  pressing  need  to  study  the  ways  and 
habits  of  humanity.  The  Scots  and  the  Irish,  on  the 
other  hand,  seem  to  excel  in  that  beautiful  communing 
with  Nature  that  is  possible  only  to  the  poetic  mind 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

in  a  situation,  so  to  speak,  of  isolation.  Our  own 
Lake  poets  tried  it ;  and,  it  appears,  Wordsworth  clearly 
succeeded.  Such  a  couplet  as — 

"  To  me  the  meanest  flower  that  blows  can  give 
Thoughts  that  do  often  lie  too  deep  for  tears," 

would  never  occur  to  the  townsman. 

But  while  depriving1  the  English  singer,  in  general, 
of  the  gift  of  interpreting-  the  mere  moods  of  Dame 
Nature,  we  still  leave  him  an  immense  scope  and 
variety  of  song,  which  he  has  been  ready  enough  to 
seize  and  stamp  with  his  own  form  and  feature. 

"If  a  man  were  permitted  to  make  all  the  ballads, 
he  need  not  care  who  should  make  the  laws  of  a 
nation,"  said  Fletcher  of  Saltoun,  and  he  bids  fair 
to  be  remembered  by  the  saying.  He  reinforces  his 
argument  by  adding  that  "we  find  that  most  of  the 
ancient  legislators  thought  they  could  not  well  reform 
the  manners  of  any  city  without  the  help  of  a  lyric 
and  sometimes  of  a  dramatic  poet."  Not  so  long  ago 
the  German  Emperor  echoed  something  of  the  same 
enthusiasm.  He  would  have  a  collection  of  the  people's 
songs  published  in  a  handy  form1:  "  Study  that,"  said 
he,  "and  you  will  then  be  on  the  right  path  to  show 
when  next  we  meet,  both  to  Germany  and  to  foreigners, 
what  a  wealth  of  poetry  and  art  is  to  be  found  in  the 
people's  songs."  How  true  it  is  that  there  exists  a 
rich  vein  of  poetry  and  art  in  the  people's  songs, 
soon  becomes  plain  to  the  student  of  our  native  ballads. 

1  Now  published  by  Peters. 

Ballads  and  Dance-tunes 

The  art  is  of  a  primitive  kind,  and  the  poetry  lacks 
the  polish  which  the  poets  of  a  later  day  so  easily 
commanded ;  but  the  minstrel  art — such  as  it  remains — 
has  a  sturdy  music  of  its  own  which  will  carry  it  down 
the  stream  of  time  and  delight  and  charm  generations 
of  English-speaking  peoples  yet  unborn.  In  the  old 
days  we  have  been  considering,  every  trade,  and  some- 
times every  branch  of  trade,  had  its  song.  Not  only 
the  trades,  but  each  sport  and  amusement  in  such 
bygone  times  was  identified  with  music  and  verse. 
The  huntsman  was  roused  with  a  merry  stave;  the 
milkmaid  sang  at  her  task;  the  vintner  had  an  em- 
barrassment of  choice.  Nor  had  the  devil  all  the 
good  tunes,  as  the  parson  of  old  so  feared.  Many 
of  the  best  carols  of  the  Nativity  are  true  folk-song. 
Then  there  were  the  occupations  of  the  sea,  love,  war, 
and  the  simple  duties  of  the  shepherd,  or  the  risky 
livelihood  of  the  poacher:  each  calling  into  existence 
melodies  appropriate  to  their  special  purpose  and  use. 

Ballads  and  dance-tunes  are  intimately  associated,  as 
the  very  words  prove.  The  old  French  bailer^  to  dance, 
no  doubt  drawn  in  turn  from  the  late  Latin  ballistea 
(trivial  songs)  and  the  Italian  ballata,  indicates  the 
source  whence  we  have  derived  the  word  "ballad." 
Many  of  the  old  airs  were  real  dance-tunes;  indeed,  the 
Dancing  Master  (of  Playford)  and  other  similar  collec- 
tions have  been  largely  instrumental  in  preserving  the 
old  tunes  to  which  the  words  of  numerous  ballads  were 
composed.  Warton  says  that  about  the  year  1380,  "  in 
the  place  of  the  Provensal,  a  new  species  of  poetry 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

succeeded  in  France,  consisting  of  Chants  Royaux, 
Balades,  Rondeaux,  and  Pastorales."  This  new  poetry 
was  cultivated  by  Froissart,  who  has  consequently  been 
described,  though  mistakenly,  as  its  inventor.  Chaucer 
acknowledges  having  written 

"  Many  a  hymme  for  your  holidaies 
That  hightin  balades,  rondills,  virelaies." 

We   now  proceed   to   an    example   of  a   dance-tune 

with    Latin  words,    dating   from   the  twelfth  century, 

quoted     from    Coussemaker: — "Les     com- 

Q          1,,as  positions  se"culieres  e*taient  plus  varides  que 

les  compositions  religieuses  sous  le  nom  de 

*  rondeau,  cantinelle,  conduit  et  motet';  ils  offraient  un 

;•;::  s_ 

p  afar- 

n&tiir  / 


"  Nobilitas  Ornata  " 

on  f  ufcrtnt  data 


*  y>  fli^  •  r«  *> 



AIR  DE  DANSE  (i2th  Century).  Bibl.  de  Lille,  MS.  95. 


No  -  bil  -   i-  tas     or-na-ta      mo-ri-bus    nul-lam 


-* — r4-* 


•j    j 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

"n  in u  i N-gm=P^5PPEH 

J  '  J.  •  j    f^T  '  *  g>    'v^^-J^.1  J       " 

champ  plus  grand  a  rimagination  des  artistes.  Le 
motet  surtout,  qui  etait  la  composition  favorite  du 
temps,  puisait  une  grande  vari^te*  dans  la  diversite"  des 

The  motet  (perhaps  from  mot  or  bon  mot,  a  jest)  was 
a  secular  composition  in  the  thirteenth  century.  Its 
characteristics  were  found  in  the  melodious  part-writing 
placed  above  a  fixed  and  determined  bass.  In  the 
Conductus  (or  fonduit)  the  melody  was  placed  in  the 
tenor.  Our  authority  proceeds  to  state  that  there  was 
no  material  difference,  at  the  time  of  which  we  are 
writing,  between  the  sacred  and  secular  compositions. 
The  next  example  is  from  Stafford  Smith's  Musica 
Antigua.  It  is  an  undoubted  dance-tune  of  the 
thirteenth  century,  and  is  found  in  MS.  139,  Douce 
Collection,  Bodleian  Library,  Oxford,  where  it  appears 
in  notation  as  follows  : — 

1  L'Art  Harmonique  aux  XI fr  et  XIII6  sticks.  Paris,  1865, 
P-  134- 


An  Ancient  Dance 



Translation : — 


i    I   I   i 

J  JJ 



Story  of  Minstrelsy 

jujj.'j  jjjjj^y 

Burney  remarks  that  he  had  "never  been  so  for- 
tunate as  to  meet  with  a  single  tune  to  an  English  songf 
or  dance  so  ancient  as  the  fourteenth  century."1  Our 
other  famous  historian  of  music,  Hawkins,  thought 
"  Sellenger's  Round"  to  be  "the  oldest  country-dance 
tune  now  extant,"  an  opinion  in  which  he  was  doubt- 
less mistaken.  We  give  Byrde's  version  of  this 
Round,  which  differs  considerably  from  that  printed  in 
Hawkins'  History  (vol.  3,  chap,  ix.,  quarto  ed.).  "John 
Dory"  was  commonly  used  as  a  dance-tune.  There  is 

1  History,  ii.  p.  381. 

Sellenger's  Round  " 


"  u 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

f  -T 

(Translation  of  " SellengeS s  Round."} 

no  difficulty  in  showing  that  singing-  actually  accom- 
panied dancing  in  the  early  days  of  these  compositions, 
in  spite  of  Dr.  Burney's  statement  that  "  the  movement 
of  our  country-dances  is  too  rapid  for  the  utterance  of 
words."  Even  so  late  as  1686,  we  read  in  The  Dancing 
Master  the  following  description  of  the  figures  in  the 
Cushion  Dance :  — 

"This  dance  is  begun  by  a  single  person  (either  man 
or   woman),  who,    taking   a  cushion    in   hand,  danc< 
about  the  room,  and  at  the  end  of  the  tune  stops  an< 
sings,  *  This  dance  it  will  no  further  go.'     The  musician 


"  Prinkutn-prankum  " 

answers,  *  I  pray  you,  good  sir,  why  say  you'so?'  Man: 
Because  Joan  Sanderson  will  not  come  too.  Musician: 
She  must  come  too,  and  she  shall  come  too,  and  she 
must  come  whether  she  will  or  no.'  Then  he  lays  down 
the  cushion  before  the  woman,  on  which  she  kneels, 
and  he  kisses  her,  singing-  *  Welcome,  Joan  Sanderson, 
welcome,  welcome.'  Then  she  rises,  takes  up  the 
cushion,  and  both  dance,  singing  *  Prinkum-prankum 
is  a  fine  dance.'  " 

A  passage  in  Selden's  Table  Talk  humorously 
refers  to  this  dance: — "The  court  of  England  is  much 
alter'd.  At  a  solemn  dancing,  first  you  had  the  grave 
measures,  then  the  Corantos  and  the  Galliards,  and  this 
kept  up  with  ceremony;  and  at  length  to  Trenchmore, 
and  the  Cushion  dance;  then  all  the  company  dances, 
lord  and  groom,  lady  and  kitchenmaid,  no  distinction. 
So  in  our  court  in  Queen  Elizabeth's  time  things  were 
pretty  well.  But  in  King  Charles'  time  there  has  been 
nothing  but  Trenchmore  and  the  Cushion  dance, 
omnium  gatherum,  tolly  polly,  hoite  come  toite." 

Burton,  in  The  Anatomy  of  Melancholy  (1621),  ex- 
claims concerning  this  same  Trenchmore,  "Who  can 
withstand  it?  be  we  young  or  old,  though  our  teeth 
shake  in  our  heads  like  virginal  jacks,  or  stand  parallel 
asunder  like  the  arches  of  a  bridge,  there  is  no  remedy; 
we  must  dance  Trenchmore  over  tables,  chairs,  and 
stools."  We  quote  Trenchmore  in  a  ballad  version,  as  it 
stands  in  Ravenscroft's  "Freemen's  Songs"  (Deutero- 
melia,  1609).  In  this  instance  the  ballad  version  is 
greatly  superior  to  the  mere  dance.  In  the  volume 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

mentioned,  Trenchmore  is  also  adapted  to  the  words 
"To-morrow,  the  fox  will  come  to  town,  Keepe,  keepe, 
keepe,  keepe,  keepe." 

Wil-ly,  prythee  go  to  bed, For  thou  wilt  have  a  drowsy  head;  To 


t  a    hunt  -  ing,     And  betimes  be    s 

IN  i    IN  Is  J^-K-*  j* 
«M  J    J  *  J  J  t-»—  ^ 

morrow  we  must  a    hunt  -  ing,     And  betimes  be    stir  -  ring.  With  a 

hey     trol  -  ly     lol  -  ly    lo  -  ly  -  ly      lo  -  ly  -  ly  -  lo  -  ly  -  ly 

""    *"    I  r  \ /• 

lo-ly-ly-lo-ly-ly    Hey,     ho,       tro  -  lo  -  ly  lo-ly-ly         lo! 

It  is  like  to  be  fair  weather; 
Couple  all  my  hounds  together, 
Couple  Jolly  with  little  Jolly, 
Couple  Trolly  with  old  Trolly. 
With  a  hey,  etc. 

Couple  Finch  with  black  Trole, 
Couple  Chanter  with  Jumbole, 
Let  Beauty  go  at  liberty, 
For  she  doth  know  her  duty. 
With  a  hey,  etc. 

"  Trenchmore  " 

Let  May  go  loose,  it  makes  no  matter 
For  Cleanly  sometimes  she  will  clatter, 
And  yet  I  am  sure  she  will  not  stray, 
But  keep  with  us  still  all  the  day. 
With  a  hey,  etc. 

With  "  O  masters  and  what  you  were," 
This  other  day  I  start  a  hare, 
On  what-call  hill  upon  the  knole, 
And  there  she  started  before  Trole. 
With  a  hey,  etc. 

And  down  she  went  the  common  dale 
With  all  the  hounds  at  her  tail, 
Like  yeaffe  a  yeaffe,  yeafife  a  yeaffe, 
Hey  Trole,  hey  Chanter,  hey  Jumbole. 
With  a  hey,  etc. 

See  how  Clasper  chops  it  in, 
And  so  doth  Gallant  now  begin ; 
Look  how  Trole  begins  to  tattle, 
Tarry  awhile  ye  shall  hear  him  prattle. 
With  a  hey,  etc. 

For  Beauty  begins  to  wag  her  tail, 
Of  Cleanly's  help  we  shall  not  fail, 
And  Chanter  opens  very  well, 
But  Merry  she  doth  bear  the  bell. 
With  a  hey,  etc. 

So  prick  the  path,  and  down  the  lane, 
She  uses  still  her  old  train, 
She  is  gone  to  what-call  wood 
Where  we  are  like  to  do  no  good. 
With  a  hey,  etc. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Returning  for  a  moment  to  the  point  from  which  we 
have  digressed,  the  following  remarks  of  Sir  Hubert 
Parry  are  worthy  of  consideration: — "The  beating  of 
some  kind  of  noisy  instrument  as  an  accompaniment  to 
gestures  in  the  excitement  of  actual  war  or  victory,  or 
other  such  exciting  cause,  was  the  first  type  of  rhythmic 
music,  and  the  telling  of  national  or  tribal  stories  and 
deeds  of  heroes,  in  the  indefinite  chant  consisting  of  a 
monotone  slightly  varied  with  occasional  cadences, 
which  is  met  with  among  so  many  barbarous  peoples, 
was  the  first  type  of  vocal  music.  This  vague  approach 
to  musical  recitation  must  have  received  its  first 
rhythmic  arrangement  when  it  came  to  be  accompanied 
by  rhythmic  gestures,  and  the  two  processes  were 
thereby  combined,  while  song  and  dance  went  on 
together,  as  in  mediaeval  times  in  Europe."  Old 
Thomas  Morley  mentions  (in  his  Easie  Introduction  to 
Practicall  Musicke;  1597)  that  "there  is  also  another 
kind  more  light  than  this  " — he  has  been  discussing  the 
Villanelle,  a  kind  of  dance  part-song — "which  they 
term  Ballete  or  daunces,  and  are  songs  which  being 
sung  to  a  dittie  may  likewise  be  danced  ;  these  and  all 
other  kinds  of  light  musick,  saving  the  madrigal,  are  by 
a  general  name  called  aires.  There  be  also  another 
kind  of  ballets  commonly  called  Fa  la's;  the  first  set  of 
that  kind  which  I  have  seen  was  made  by  Gastoldi ;  if 
others  have  laboured  in  the  same  field  I  know  not;  but 
a  slight  kind  of  musick  it  is,  and  as  I  take  it  devised  to 
be  danced  to  voices."  In  the  beginnings  of  oratorio, 
dance-movements  were  not  uncommonly  sung;  while 


Nancy  Dawson 

on  the  stage,  in  our  own  times,  the  best  writers  scorn 
not  so  obvious  an  opportunity  of  pleasing  the  popular 
ear,  as  witness  the  dance  sung  by  the  Apprentices  in 
Wagner's  Meistersinger  (Act.  i.).  Burney's  unbelief 
might  have  been  dispelled  by  the  simple  experiment  of 
observing  a  party  of  children  sing  and  dance  "  Here 
we  go  round  the  Mulberry  bush,"  the  original  of  which 
he  could  by  no  possibility  escape.1 

The  earliest  printed  ballad  is  always  said  to  be  that 
on  the  downfall  of  Thomas  Lord  Cromwell  in  1540, 
reprinted  by  Dr.  Percy.  It  begins — 

"  Both  man  and  chylde  is  glad  to  here  tell 
Of  that  false  traytoure  Thomas  Crumwell, 
Now  that  he  is  set  to  learn  to  spell 
Synge  trolle  on  away." 

The  contentious  nature  of  the  ballad  brought  forth  a 
series  on  the  opposite  side,  which  in  turn  were  answered. 
Eight  of  these  remain.  It  is  of  interest  to  note  the 
spelling  Crumwell.  The  cavalier  soldiers  (in  the  time 
of  Sir  Thomas's  great  namesake)  used  to  place  a  pellet 
of  bread  in  their  ale  or  wine,  and  drink  to  the  toast 
"God  send  this  crumb  well  down."  Though  ballads 
and  songs  were  printed  in  great  numbers  long  before 
Queen  Elizabeth's  time,  few  of  these  are  now  discover- 

1  The  original  was,  of  course,  Nancy  Dawson,  a  great  dancer  of 
George  II. 's  time.  The  hornpipe  was  introduced  in  "Love  in  a 
Village"  (1762);  but  long  before  this,  it  had  been  danced  by  Nancy, 
who  became  "vastly  celebrated,  admired,  imitated,  and  followed  by 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

able.  Captain  Cox,  a  mason  of  Coventry,  is  said  by 
Laneham1  to  have  made  a  collection  of  such  literary 
curiosities.  He  mentions  the  names  of  a  few,  in  these 
words — "  What  shoold  I  rehearz  heer,  what  a  bunch  of 
ballets  and  songs,  all  ancient — as  '  Broom,  Broom  on  Hil,' 
*  So  wo  iz  me  begon,  troly  lo  !'  *  Over  a  Whinny  Weg,' 
'  Hey,  ding  a  ding,'  '  Bony  Lass  upon  a  Green,'  '  My 
Bony  on  gave  me  a  Bek,'  *  By  a  Bank  as  I  lay,'  and  a 
hundred  more,  he  hath  fair  wrapt  up  in  parchment,  and 
bound  with  a  whipcord."  Of  these,  "  By  a  Bank  as  I 
lay "  is  still  extant.  It  has  been  reprinted  as  a 
Christmas  carol.2  "  Hey,  ding  a  ding  "  is  probably  none 
other  than  the  well-known  song  of  "  Old  Sir  Simon  the 
King."  Nash  (in  two  controversial  tracts  with  Harvey, 
1596  and  1599)  gives  us  the  names  of  a  few  further 
ballads,  such  as  "In  Sandon  Soyle  as  late  Befell," 
"Cutting  Ball,"  "Have  with  you  to  Florida,"  "The 
Story  of  Axeres  and  the  worthy  Iphiis,"  "  As  I  went  to 
Walsingham,"  "In  Crete,"  "  Anne  Askew,"  "All  the 
Flowers  of  the  Broom,"  "Pepper  is  Black,"  "John 
Careless,"  "  Greensleeves,"  "Go  from  my  Garden,  go," 
"  The  Strife  of  Love  in  a  Dreame,"  or  "  The  Lamentable 
Burden  of  Teventon."  The  airs  of  a  few  of  these  are 
known,  such  as  "Pepper  is  Black,"  and  the  famous 
"  Greensleeves,"  sung  and  reprinted  to  this  day.  "  Go 
from  my  Garden,"  is  probably  identical  with  "  Go  from 
my  Window."  The  ballad  "As  I  went  to  Walsingham  " 
(given  in  Percy's  Reliques)  was  sung  to  the  following 

1  Letter  from  Killingworth.     London,  1575. 

2  Under  the  title,  "Welcome,  Yule."    (Carols  and  Songs;  Augener.) 


"  Walsingham  " 

air,    which   is   copied   from   the    Fitzwilliam    Virginal 
Book : — 

WALSINGHAM.  William  Byrde. 

The  form  into  which  Byrde  has  cast  the  ballad-tune 
is,  of  course,  one  that  would  appeal  to  the  skilled  per- 
former rather  than  the  singer.  We  give  it  as  a  curiosity. 
These  old  ballads  were  hawked  up  and  down  the 
country  in  baskets.  Ritson  quotes  from  "  a  pleasant 
and  stately  morall  of  Three  Lordes  and  Three  Ladies 
of  London"  (1590),  where  Simplicity  is  asked  what 
dainty  fine  ballad  he  has  now  to  be  sold.  The  answer  is 
"  Marie,  child,  I  have  'Chipping  Morton,'  'A  Mile 
from  Chappel  o'  the  Heath,'  *  A  Lamentable  Ballad  of 
Burning  the  Pope's  Dog,'  '  The  Sweet  Balade  of  the 
Lincolnshire  Bagpipes,'  and  '  Peggy  and  Willy,'  '  But 
now  he  is  Dead  and  Gone,'  '  Mine  own  sweet  Willy  is 
laid  in  his  grave,  la,  la,  la,  Ian  ti  dan  dan  da  dan,  Ian 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

ti  dan,  dan  tan  derry  do.'  "  The  vendor  of  this  singular 
parcel  was  dressed  in  "bare  blacke,  like  a  poore 
citizen,"  and  was  expected  to  bear  his  part,  if  called 
upon  to  do  so. 

It  is  natural  that  a  large  number  of  ballads  should 
choose  for  their  subject  the  romantic  experiences  of  the 
popular  hero  of  the  greenwood.  One  such  piece, 
treasured  up  in  the  Halliwell  Collection  (Chetham 
Library),  shows  the  ballad  to  be  in  black-letter  with 
two  modest  woodcuts,  and  of  a  class  which  Scott 
speaks  of  in  Ivanhoe  as  once  sold  at  the  low  and  easy 
rate  of  a  halfpenny,  but  now  cheaply  purchased  at  their 
weight  in  gold. 

The  air  is  found  in  the  Jovial  Crew  (1731),  and  runs 


When  Ro  -bin  Hood  was  a-bout  twen-ty  years  old.With  a     hey   down, 

ft    Is  j         P 

* '  ^  J '  •  ' 

down  and   a    down,  He      hap-pen'dto  meet    Lit -tie         John, 

jol-ly  brisk  blade,  right  fit  for  the  trade,  For  he  was  astur-dy  young  man. 

A  remarkable  use,  to  which  melody  was  put  in  early 
times,  may  be  traced  in  the  "  hanging-tunes  "  ;  for  the 
executioner,  despite  his  grim  office,  did  his  work 


"  Fortune  my  Foe  " 

accompanied  with  the  voices  of  thousands,  in  such  a 
chant  as  "Fortune  my  Foe,  why  dost  thou  frown  on 
me  ?  nl  mentioned  of  both  Shakespeare  and  Ben  Jonson. 
The  air,  a  fine  old  minor,  must  have  been  painfully  im- 
pressive for  the  prisoner.  There  is  no  trace  of  the 
block  or  the  gallows  in  it,  but  what  poetic  pageantry  can 
be  discovered  in  so  serious  a  situation  appears  to  have 
been  touched  upon  with  vividness,  in  the  melody  re- 
ferred to.  .The  value  of  the  tune  was  perceived  by 
William  Byrde,  who  made  it  the  text  of  a  long  impro- 
visation. This  appears  in  the  Fitzwilliam  Virginal 
Book,  from  which  the  following  harmonization  is 
borrowed : — 

FORTUNE.  William  Byrde. 






1  "Titus  Andronicus,"  the  ballad  from  which  Shakespeare  drew  his 
play,  was  sung  to  the  tune  of  "Fortune  my  Foe."  A  moralization 
appears  in  Forbes'  Cantus  (1682),  beginning  "  Satan  my  foe,  full  of 



Story   of  Minstrelsy 








»-f  i  r 

i  j  j  j 





Mention  of  this  air  is  put  into  the  mouth  of  Falstaff, 
in  7%£  Merry  Wives  of  Windsor  (Act  iii.,  Sc.  3) — 


Hanging  Tunes 

"  I  see  what  thou  wert,  if  Fortune  thy  foe  were  not, 
Nature  thy  friend.  Come  thou  canst  not  hide  it." 

In  Chappell's  Popular  Music  there  are  two  interesting 
quotations  concerning  this  ballad.  The  first  is  from 
Rowley's  Noble  Soldier  (1634) — 

"The  King,  shall  I  be  bitter  against  the  King  ? 
I  shall  have  scurvy  ballads  made  of  me, 
Sung  to  the  hanging  tune." 

The  other  reference  is  from  "  The  Penitent  Traytor; 
the  humble  petition  of  a  Devonshire  gentleman,  who 
was  condemned  for  treason,  and  executed  for  the  same" 
(1641),  as  follows  :— 

"  How  could  I  bless  thee,  couldst  thou  take  away 
My  life  and  infamy  both  in  one  day? 
But  this  in  ballads  will  survive  I  know, 
Sung  to  that  preaching  tune,  Fortune  my  Foe." 

Another  famous  "hanging-tune"  was  "  Welladay  ; 
or,  Essex's  last  Good-night,"  the  air  of  which  is  con- 
tained in  Elizabeth  Rogers'  Virginal  Book  (Add.  MSS. 
10,337  fol.  7,  British  Museum).  Better  fortune  has 
attended  this  graceful  melody,  which  has  acquired  a 
new  lease  of  life,  and  is  now  everywhere  known  by  its 
being  adapted  as  a  Christmas  carol.  It  figured  in 
Wright's  Carols  (with  the  date  1661),  to  the  words 
"  All  you  that  in  this  house  be  here,"  and  also  to  those 
beginning  "  Christmas  hath  made  an  end."  It  was 
only  the  best  class  of  ballad  that  confined  itself  to 
historical  or  sentimental  subjects.  The  vast  number 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

(especially  of  the  later  times)  fastened  upon  any  trifling 
happening  of  the  moment,  and  made  it  a  peg  upon 
which  to  hang  indifferent  verse. 

We  have  already  mentioned  Henry  VIII.'s  repressive 
measures  for  dealing  with  this  literature.  In  the  reign 
of  his  successor,  ballads  increased  and  multiplied, 
though  so  few  have  come  down  to  us.  Such,  it  is  said, 
are  the  following : — "Bring  ye  to  me,  and  I  to  thee," 
"  Hey  noney,  noney,  houghe  for  money,"  and  "  Haye, 
haye,  haie,  haie,  I  will  be  merry  while  I  maie " — 
preserved  only  in  MS. 

With  the  accession  of  Queen  Mary,  the  legislative 
vehicle  was  again  put  in  motion,  and  an  edict  against 
"  books,  ballads,  rhymes,  and  treatises  set  out  by 
printers  and  stationers,  of  an  evil  zeal  for  lucre,  and 
covetous  of  vile  gain,"  struck  an  effectual  blow  at  the 
trade  of  the  ballad-makers.  This  edict  was  apparently 
withdrawn  when  Elizabeth  came  to  the  throne,  and 
ballads  soon  awoke  to  their  liberty.  We  have  already 
given  Robert  Laneham's  list  of  pieces  of  this  period. 
To  these  may  now  be  added  a  few  quoted  in  a  "  very 
mery  and  pythie  commedie,"  bearing  the  title,  The 
longer  thou  Livest,  the  more  Fool  thou  art,  described 
as  a  mirror  very  necessary  for  youth,  and  especially  for 
such  as  are  like  to  come  to  dignity  and  promotion. 
The  character  is  thus  introduced  with  his  songs  in  a 
string : — 

"Here  entereth  Moros,  counterfaiting  a  vaine  gesture  and 
a  foolish  countenance,  synging  the  foote  of  many  songs,  as 
fooles  were  wont : — 


"Come  o'er  the  boorne,  Besse" 

'  Brome,  brome  on  hill, 
The  gentle  brome  on  hill  hill ; 
Brome,  brome  on  hiue  hill, 
The  gentle  brome  on  hiue  hill, 
The  brome  stands  on  hiue  hill,  a  ! ' 

*  Robin  lende  to  me  thy  bowe,  thy  bowe, 
Robin  the  bow,  Robin  lend  to  me  thy  bow,  a ! 

*  There  was  a  mayde  come  out  of  Kent, 
Deinte  love,  deinte  love  ! 

There  was  a  mayde  cam  out  of  Kent, 

Daungerous  be. 

There  was  a  mayde  cam  out  of  Kent, 

Fayre  propre  small  and  gent, 

As  ever  upon  the  grottide  went, 

For  so  should  it  be.' 

'  By  a  banke  as  I  lay,  I  lay, 
Musing  on  things  past,  hey  how  ! ' 

1  Tom  a  Lin  and  his  wife  and  his  wive's  mother 
They  went  over  a  bridge  all  three  together ; 
The  bridge  was  broken  and  they  fell  in  ; 
The  Devill  go  with  all,  quoth  Tom  a  Lin.' 

1  Martin  Swart  and  his  man,  fodledum,  fodledum  ; 
Martin  Swart  and  his  man,  fodledum  bell.' 

'  Come  o'er  the  boorne,  Besse, 
My  pretie  Besse, 
Come  o'er  the  boorne,  Besse,  to  me.' 

*73  * 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

*  The  white  dove  sat  on  the  castell  wall, 
I  bend  my  bow,  and  shoote  her  I  shall, 
I  put  her  in  my  glove,  both  feathers  and  all ; 
I  lay  my  bridle  upon  the  shelf, 
If  you  will  any  more,  sing  it  yourself.' 

A  few  of  the  above  pieces  are  extant  in  one  form  or 
another.  "Come  o'er  the  Boorne,  Bessie,  to  me"  (to 
quote  an  example)  has  recently  been  reprinted1  from 
Additional  MSS.  5665  (fol.  i4ob),  in  the  British  Museum. 
The  volume  containing  this  ancient  piece  is  of  the  end 
of  the  fifteenth  century ;  it  was  once  in  the  possession 
of  Joseph  Ritson,  by  whose  gift  it  came  to  the  Museum. 
Shakespeare's  allusion  to  the  song  is  as  follows: — 

Edg.  Look,  where  he  stands  and  glares. 
Wantest  thou  eyes  at  trial,  madam  ? 
Come  o'er  the  bourn,  Bessy  to  me — 

Fool.  Her  boat  hath  a  leak, 
And  she  must  not  speak 
Why  she  dares  not  come  over  to  thee. 

—King  Lear  (Act  iii.  Sc.  5). 

Allusion  has  already  been  made  to  "  By  a  Bank  as 
I  lay,"  one  of  Henry  VIII.'s  favourite  songs.  "  Robin, 
lend  to  me  thy  Bow "  is  preserved  by  Ravenscroft  in 
Pammelia  (1609),  "  a  mixed  varietie  of  pleasant  rounde- 
layes  and  delightfull  catches."  The  setting  is  for  four 
voices;  the  first  sings  one  line,  the  second  voice  imme- 
diately follows,  and  after  completion  of  this  same  lim 
the  third  voice  enters,  and  so  on.  Like  "John  Dory,' 

1  By  Messrs.  Novello. 

"  Robin,  lend  to  me  thy  Bow " 

the  arrangement  in  this  form  must  have  meant  that  the 
minstrel  air  had  to  be  moulded  to  this  special  purpose; 
but  in  some  cases  there  is  no  reason  to  doubt  that  the 
catch  or  round  was  an  original  invention.  Here  is  the 
song  itself: — 

Now,  Robin,  lend    to      me    thy  bow,  Sweet  Ro-bin,  lend  to 

^— j: 

— r— 
me    thy    bow,  For      I  must  now  a  hunt -ing  With  my  la -dy 

goe,  With     my     sweet  la 

dy     goe. 

And  whither  will  thy  Lady  goe  ? 

Sweet  Wilkin  tell  it  unto  mee ; 

And  thou  shalt  have  my  hawke,  my  hound,  and  eke 
my  bow, 

To  wait  on  thy  Lady. 

My  Lady  will  to  Uppingham, 

To  Uppingham  forsooth  will  shee ; 
And  I  my  selfe  appointed  for  to  be  the  man, 
To  wait  on  my  Lady. 

Adieu,  good  Wilkin,  all  beshrewde, 

Thy  hunting  nothing  pleaseth  mee : 
But  yet  beware  thy  babling  hounds  stray  not  abroad, 
For  angring  of  thy  Lady. 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

My  hounds  shall  be  led  in  the  line, 

So  well  I  can  assure  it  thee ; 

Unlesse  by  view  of  straine  some  pursue  I  may  finde, 
To  please  my  sweet  Lady. 

With  that  the  Lady  shee  came  in, 

And  wild  them  all  for  to  agree ; 
For  honest  hunting  never  was  accounted  sinne, 
Nor  never  shall  for  mee. 

We  hope  to  escape  the  charge  of  confusing  the  work 
of  the  old  minstrels  and  the  productions  of  a  more 
enlightened  time.  Certainly,  excepting  perhaps  Payne 
Collier's  Book  ofRoxburghe  Ballads,  all  the  printed  collec- 
tions of  these  ballads  offer  without  distinction  the  crude 
songs  of  unlettered  genius  side  by  side  with  the  polite 
exercises  of  more  refined  poetry.  This  is  notoriously  the 
case  with  Percy's  Reliques,  concerning  which  Hazlitt 
has  remarked:  "  It  is  fortunate  for  the  lovers  of 
early  English  literature  that  Bishop  Percy  had  com- 
paratively little  to  do  with  it."  Ritson,  in  the  section 
of  English  Songs  (1783)  headed  "Ancient,"  somewhat 
strangely  included  a  piece  composed  by  his  friend  Scott 
— a  mere  imitation  of  old  balladry.  Then,  again,  in  the 
same  editor's  Ancient  Songs  (1792)  there  are  poems  by 
Shakespeare,  Raleigh,  Wither,  Suckling,  and  others. 
If,  then,  we  sin  in  this  respect,  it  is  in  good  company. 
The  reader  will  soon  discover  the  secret,  when  he  lights 
upon  Lord  Dorset's  ballad,  "  never  before  printed." 
Such  a  treasure  is  worth  all  the  classification  in  the 
world.  So  let  us  hasten  onwards. 


"Carman's  Whistle" 

We  cannot  afford  to  pass  over  Henry  Chettle's 
pamphlet  (of  1592)  entitled  Kind  Heart's  Dream, 
which  gives  a  glimpse  of  "that  idle,  upstart  genera- 
tion of  ballad-singers  "  who  chant  in  every  street — an 
evil  which  is  said  to  have  overspread  Essex  and  the 
adjoining  counties.  Chettle  continues:  "There  is 
many  a  tradesman,  of  a  worshipful  trade,  yet  no 
stationer,  who,  after  a  little,  bringing  up  apprentices 
to  singing  brokery,  takes  into  his  shop  some  fresh 
men,  and  trusts  his  old  servants  of  a  two  months' 
standing  with  a  dozen  groats-worth  of  ballads.  In 
which,  if  they  prove  thrifty,  he  makes  them  pretty 
chapmen,  able  to  spread  more  pamphlets  by  the  State 
forbidden  than  all  the  booksellers  in  London."  In  the 
list  of  ballads  mentioned  we  meet  with  "  Watkins  Ale," 
"The  Carman's  Whistle,"  "  Chopping-knives,"  "The 
Friar  and  the  Nun,"  and  "Friar  Fox-tail."  The  two 
first-named  ballads  are  well  known,  the  tunes  being  in 
the  Fitzwilliam  Virginal  Book.  Byrde's  arrangement 
of  "The  Carman's  Whistle,"  with  its  set  of  nine 
"divisions,"  is  especially  famous.  "Friar  Fox-tail" 
is  not  known,  but  "The  Friar  and  the  Nun"  is  con- 
tained in  the  Dancing  Master  (1650  and  later  editions). 
The  words  are  lost  of  this  last  piece  ;  and  the  two 
first,  though  preserved,  are  not  suited  to  modern 

The  names  of  the  best-known  ballad-writers  of  the 
period  under  consideration  include  those  of  Thomas 
Elderton  ("who  did  arm  himself  with  ale,  as  old 
father  Ennius  did  with  wine,  when  he  ballated") — the 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

peerless  Elderton — Thomas  Deloney,  Richard  Johnson, 
and  Anthony  Munday. 

In  James  I.'s  time  broadsides  became  common, 
with  the  ballads  printed  on  one  side  of  the  sheet, 
giving  the  name  of  the  (licensed)  printer.  "The  Duke 
of  Norfolk,"  "In  Crete,"  and  "My  man  Thomas  did 
me  promise,"  are  well-known  examples  of  this  period. 
One  of  the  most  famous  ballads  ever  written  was 
Martin  Parker's  "When  the  King  enjoys  his  own 
again,"  produced  towards  the  end  of  the  unfortunate 
Charles  I.'s  reign.  This  ballad,  invented  to  support 
the  declining  interest  of  the  Merry  Monarch,  served 
afterwards  to  maintain  the  spirits  of  the  Cavaliers, 
and  later  to  celebrate  the  Restoration  in  every  corner 
of  the  kingdom.  The  doleful  inventions  of  the  Com- 
monwealth period  need  not  be  dwelt  upon.  "  Let 
Oliver  now  be  Forgotten "  (recently  reprinted)  is  a 
fair  example,  which  is  more  than  counterbalanced  by 
Milton's  noble  verses,  "Cromwell,  our  chief  of  men." 

We  close  this  rapid  sketch  of  some  of  the  features  of 
the  ballad  age  by  inserting  Lord  Dorset's  fine  poem,  with 
its  original  music.  The  facsimile  is  reproduced  from  the 
Halliwell  Collection,  in  the  Chetham  Library,  Manchester. 

Chappell  quotes  a  later  version  of  this  air  from 
Waifs  Miscellany  (vol.  iii. ;  1730),  but  mentions  the 
original  as  "barbarously  printed."  Dr.  Hullah  came 
to  much  the  same  conclusion,  and  he  dismisses  it  as 
"so  absurdly  barred  that  it  is  difficult  to  understand 
its  rhythm."  Nevertheless,  the  interest  of  an  original 
must  be  allowed,  and  a  correct  copy,  agreeing  with 


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with,  afata.  9     '  - 

tha-unrig  tma  you  attaurtwes, 
tikerprse  all  our  feairSj 

petty  w  <mr  y 

ia. . 

FIG.    15. — DORSET  S    BALLAD. 


the  above,  is  found  in  Durfey's  Pills  to  Purge  Melan- 
choly (vol.  vi.  p.  272,  1720).  Readers  may  recall 
Pepys'  allusion  to  this  song,  given  in  the  Diary ,  under 
date  January  2nd,  1665: — 

"To  my  Lord  Brounckner's,  by  appointment;  where  I 
occasion'd  much  mirth  with  a  ballet  I  brought  with  me,  made 
from  the  seamen  at  sea  to  their  ladies  in  town;  saying  Sir  W. 
Pen,  Sir  G.  Ascue,  and  Sir  G.  Lawson  made  them.  Here  a 
most  noble  French  dinner  and  banquet.  The  street  full  of 
footballs,  it  being  a  great  frost." 

It  was  claimed  that  the  song  was  written  at  sea,  in  the 
first  Dutch  War,  on  the  night  before  an  engagement. 
In  the  controversy  which  this  drew  forth,  Dr.  Johnson 
expressed  himself  as  follows: — "Seldom  any  splendid 
story  is  wholly  true.  I  have  heard  from  the  late  Earl 
Orrery,  who  was  likely  to  have  good  hereditary  intel- 
ligence, that  Lord  Dorset  had  been  a  week  employed 
upon  it,  and  only  retouched  or  finished  it  on  the 
memorable  evening.  But  even  this,  whatever  it  may 
subtract  from  his  facility,  leaves  him  his  courage." 

It  only  remains  to  add  that  in  1648  the  Provost- 
Marshal  was  empowered  to  seize  upon  all  ballad- 
singers,  sellers  of  malignant  pamphlets,  "and  to  send 
them  to  the  several  militias,  and  to  suppress  stage- 
plays."  The  Act  which  was  passed  for  the  purpose, 
served  sufficiently  for  the  stoppage  of  the  theatres. 
Not  so  with  the  ballads  or  their  singers.  As  an  earlier 
writer  had  said,  "these  running  stationers  of  London 
penetrate  into  every  corner  of  cities  and  market- 
townes  of  the  realme,  singing  and  selling  ballads." 




Songs — What  is  a  folk-song? — "Farewell,  dear  Love" — Weelkes — 
Coperario — "  Wert  thou  much  Fairer" — Purcell— "I  attempt 
from  Love's  Sickness  " — Cross,  the  engraver — "  Lilliburlero  " — 
Blow — Leveridge — Carey — Green — Young — Arne — Dibdin — Balfe 
— Madrigals  and  glees. 

FROM  Ballad  to  Song  is  but  a  step,  but  it  is  such  a  step 
as  one  takes  from  the  bustling  crowd  of  street-life  to 
the  dim  quiet  of  a  cloistered  library. 

No  sharp  delineation  has  been  made  in  the  fore- 
going pages  between  minstrel  and  musician,  excepting 
in  the  mere  incidental  history  proper  to  each.  We 
cannot,  however,  evade  the  question :  What  is  a  folk- 
song ?  Is  it  possible  within  a  reasonable  compass 
of  words  to  set  down  a  definition  which  will  give 
us  insight  to  the  particular  qualities  which  music 
must  possess  to  be  so  termed?  With  the  literary 
explanation  we  are  not  concerned.  William  Chap- 
pell,  who  did  more  as  a  collector  of  old  English 
airs  than  any  one  else,  appears  to  have  thought 
that  the  authorship  of  an  air  must  be  unknown  to 



admit  of  its  being  regarded  as  folk-song.1  In  remark- 
ing this,  it  is  not  overlooked  that  songs  by  Coperario, 
Purcell,  W.  Lawes,  Carey,  Dibdin,  and  others  crept 
into  his  great  collections  of  1838-40  and  1859;  but 
these  are  sometimes  accidental,  as  in  the  cases  of  the 
two  composers  first  mentioned,  and  in  others  con- 
siderations of  expediency  (in  all  likelihood)  compelled 
admission.  In  an  excellent  compilation  of  Hullah's,2 
songs  such  as  "  Cheer  up,  Sam,"  and  "  Wait  for  the 
Wagon,"  startle  the  eye,  if  not  the  ear.  Made  in 
America  they  certainly  were,  but  a  careful  examination 
will  probably  show  that  the  inclusion  of  such  pieces 
was  not  altogether  wrong  in  a  volume  of  Folk-song. 
Ritson,  the  antiquary  and  indefatigable  song-collector 
(it  has  already  been  pointed  out),  actually  included  a 
song  by  Sir  Walter  Scott  in  the  portion  of  his  English 
Songs  devoted  to  ancient  pieces. 

Are  we,  then,  to  assume  that  age  is  not  all  ?  Can 
a  short  composition  of  inherent  vitality  jump  the  test 
of  time,  and  range  itself  by  the  side  of  the  melodies 
that  have  braved  the  remorseless  tooth  of  the  centuries  ? 
The  unmusical  mind  can  find  a  good  equivalent  for 
folk-song  in  the  brief  snatches  of  old  verse  so  fondly 
reproduced  by  Shakespeare,  in  certain  of  Burns'  in- 
spirations, and,  indeed,  in  any  short  poem  which 

1  See  first  edition  of  Popular  Music ;  under  "  Mad  Tom,"  and  "Ah  ! 
cruel,  bloody  fate."     Among  the  old  composers  practically  ignored  are 
Robert  Jones,    Robert  Johnson,  Nicholas  Laneir,   Dr.  Wilson,  Dr. 
Colman,  William  Webb,  Henry  Lawes,  and  Dr.  Blow. 

2  English  Song  Book.     (Macmillan  &  Co.) 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

treats  of  life  on  a  broad  and  common  basis,  in  oppo- 
sition to  the  narrow,  personal,  or  particular.  In  such 
a  sense,  it  is  clear  why  people  will  accept  "Home, 
sweet  Home  "  as  a  folk-song,  and,  despite  the  quality 
of  the  words,  no  such  piece  as  "Bid  me  discourse." 
Yet  both — as  regards  the  music — have  a  common 
origin,  and  neither,  of  course,  can  claim  any  antiquity. 
Our  conclusion  is  that  a  folk-song  could  be  made  to- 
day, given  the  man  to  do  it,  and  a  nation  to  accept  it. 
An  instance  of  this  having  actually  happened  may  be 
cited  in  A.  von  LvofFs  setting  of  the  Russian  National 

Among  the  oldest  of  the  musicians'  songs  now  known 
are  the  settings  of  Shakespeare.  "Where  griping 
Grief,"  by  Richard  Edwardes  (1523-66),  is  an  early 
instance,  and  of  unique  interest  owing  to  the  fact  that 
Edwardes  wrote  both  words  and  music.  The  song  (in 
four  parts)  is  given  in  Hawkins'  History  of  Music. 
A  reprint  may  also  be  seen  in  Dr.  Naylor's  Shakespeare 
and  Music- — unfortunately,  in  a  transposed  version : — 

"Where  griping  grief  the  heart  would  wound 
And  doleful  dumps  the  mind  oppress, 
There  music  with  her  silver  sound 
Is  wont  with  speed  to  give  redress 
Of  troubled  minds,  for  ev'ry  sore, 
Sweet  music  hath  a  salve  in  store. 

In  joy  it  makes  our  mirth  abound, 
In  grief  it  cheers  our  heavy  sprites, 
The  careful  head  relief  hath  found, 
By  music's  pleasant  sweet  delights; 

"Music  with  her  silver  sound" 

Our  senses,  what  should  I  say  more, 
Are  subject  unto  Music's  lore  [lure]. 

The  gods  by  music  have  their  praise, 

The  soul  therein  doth  joy; 

For  as  the  Roman  poets  say, 

In  seas  whom  pirates  would  destroy, 

A  dolphin  saved  from  death  most  sharp, 

Arion  playing  on  his  harp. 

O  heavenly  gift,  that  turns  the  mind, 

Like  as  the  stern  doth  rule  the  ship, 

Of  music  whom  the  gods  assigned, 

To  comfort  man  whom  cares  would  nip, 

Since  thou  both  man  and  beast  doth  move, 

What  wise  man  then  will  thee  reprove?" 

The  words  are  contained  in  The  Paradise  of  Dainty 
Devices  (1573),  and  the  music  in  Thomas  Mulliner's 
Boke  for  ye  Organ  or  Virginalls  (MS .  >  sixteenth  century). 
Shakespeare's  use  of  the  song  is  as  follows : — 

Pet.  Answer  me  like  men ; 

"  When  griping  grief  the  heart  doth  wound, 
And  doleful  dumps  the  mind  oppress, 
Then  music  with  her  silver  sound " 

why  "  silver  sound"  ?  why  "  music  with  her  silver  sound"  ?  What 
say  you,  Simon  Catling  ? 

ist.  Mus.  Marry,  sir,  because  silver  hath  a  sweet  sound. 

Pet.  Pretty !     What  say  you,  Hugh  Rebeck  ? 

2nd  Mus.  I  say  "  silver  sound  "  because  musicians  sound  for 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Pet.  Pretty  too !     What  say  you,  James  Soundpost  ? 

yd  Mus.  Faith,  I  know  not  what  to  say. 

Pet.  O,  I  cry  you  mercy;  you  are  the  singer;  I  will  say  for 
you.  It  is  "  music  with  her  silver  sound,"  because  musicians  have 
no  gold  for  the  sounding — 

"  Then  music  with  her  silver  sound 
With  speedy  help  doth  lend  redress."  [Exit.} 

ist  Mus.  What  a  pestilent  knave  is  this  same! 
ind Mus.  Hang  him,  Jack!     Come,  we'll  in  here;  tarry  for 
the  mourners,  and  stay  dinner.  \Exeunt^\ 

— Romeo  and  Juliet,  Act  iv.  Sc.  5. 

Another  old  setting,  somewhat  similar  in  character 
to  the  foregoing,  is  Robert  Jones'  "  Farewell,  Dear 
Love,"  the  music  and  words  of  which  are  found  in 
The  First  Book  of  Ayres,  by  Robert  Jones,  a  folio 
printed  by  Este  in  1601: — 

"  Farewell,  dear  love,  since  thou  wilt  needs  be  gone, 
Mine  eyes  do  show  my  life  is  almost  done; 
Yet  I  will  never  die,  so  long  as  I  can  spy 
There  be  many  mo.     Though  that  she  do  go 
There  be  many  mo  I  fear  not ; 
Why  then  let  her  go,  I  care  not. 

Farewell,  farewell,  since  this  I  find  is  true, 

I  will  not  spend  more  time  in  wooing  you  ; 

But  I  will  seek  elsewhere,  if  I  may  find  love  there ; 

Shall  I  bid  her  go  ?  what  and  if  I  do  ? 

Shall  I  bid  her  go  and  spare  not  ? 

O  no,  no,  no,  I  dare  not. 


"  Farewell,  dear  heart " 

Ten  thousand  times  farewell ; — yet  stay  awhile ; — 
Sweet,  kiss  me  once ;  sweet  kisses  time  beguile ; 
I  have  no  power  to  move.     How  now,  am  I  in  love  ? 
Wilt  thou  needs  be  gone  ?    Go,  then,  all  is  one. 
Wilt  thou  needs  be  gone  ?    Oh,  hie  thee. 
Nay,  stay,  and  do  no  more  deny  me. 

Once  more  adieu !  I  see  loath  to  depart 

Bids  oft  adieu  to  her,  that  holds  my  heart. 

But  seeing  I  must  lose  thy  love,  which  I  did  choose, 

Go  thy  ways  for  me,  since  it  may  not  be. 

Go  thy  ways  for  me.     But  whither  ? 

Go,  oh,  but  where  I  may  come  thither. 

What  shall  I  do  ?  my  love  is  now  departed. 

She  is  as  fair  as  she  is  cruel-hearted. 

She  would  not  be  entreated,  with  prayers  oft  repeated, 

If  she  come  no  more,  shall  I  die  therefore? 

If  she  come  no  more,  what  care  I  ? 

Faith,  let  her  go,  or  come,  or  tarry." 

The  words  of  this  song  are  to  be  found  in  The 
Princely  Garland  of  Golden  Delights.  Shakespeare's 
allusion  to  the  song  is  as  follows: — 

Sir  Toby.  We  did  keep  time,  sir,  in  our  catches.    Sneck  up ! 

Malvolio.  Sir  Toby,  I  must  be  round  with  you.  My  lady 
bade  me  tell  you  that,  though  she  harbours  you  as  her  kinsman, 
she's  nothing  allied  to  your  disorders.  If  you  can  separate 
yourself  and  your  misdemeanours,  you  are  welcome  to  the 
house ;  if  not,  an  it  would  please  you  to  take  leave  of  her,  she 
is  very  willing  to- bid  you  farewell. 

Sir  Toby.  "  Farewell,  dear  heart,  since  I  must  needs  be  gone." 

Maria*  Nay,  good  Sir  Toby. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Clown.  "  His  eyes  do  show  his  days  are  almost  done." 

Malvolio.  Is'tevenso? 

Sir  Toby.  "  But  I  will  never  die." 

Clown.  Sir  Toby,  there  you  lie. 

Malvolio.  This  is  much  credit  to  you. 

Sir  Toby.  "Shall  I  bid  him  go?" 

Clown.  "  What  an  if  you  do  ? " 

Sir  Toby.  "Shall  I  bid  him  go  and  spare  not?" 

Clown.  "  O  no,  no,  no,  you  dare  not." 

—  Twelfth  Night,  Act  ii.  Sc.  3. 

Morley's  finely  expressive  little  air  to  "It  was  a 
Lover  and  his  Lass"  (1595)  is  widely  known,  and 
finds  a  place  in  all  English  song-collections  that  are 
representative.  We  have  mentioned  a  song  of  Este's 
(of  this  period)  in  another  part  of  the  book  (see  p.  192). 
Passing  reference  may  also  be  made  to  Thomas 
Weelkes'  First  Set  of  Madrigals  (1597),  which  contains 
settings  for  three  voices  of  the  following  Shakespeare 
songs: — "My  Flocks  feed  not,"  "In  Black  mourn  I," 
and  "Clear  Wells  spring  not."  Settings  by  Robert 
Johnson  of  "Full  Fathom  Five"  and  "Where  the 
Bee  sucks"  (1612)  have  been  reprinted  by  Sir  Frederick 
Bridge  in  his  Shakespeare  Songs  (Novello).  The  same 
work  includes  "Take,  O  take  those  Lips  away,"  by 
Dr.  Wilson — thought  by  Rimbault  to  have  been  the 
"Jack  Wilson"  of  Shakespeare's  acquaintance.  This 
song  is  contained  in  Playford's  Select  Airs  (1653). 
Two  of  Banister's  songs  are  also  reprinted  in  the 
volume  referred  to — namely,  "Full  Fathom  Five"  and 
"Come  unto  these  Yellow  Sands."  Henry  Purcell 


"Mad  Tom" 

afterwards  set  his  seal  on  these  two  lyrics  of  Shake- 
speare; but  we  need  not  anticipate  matters. 

Coperario's  famous  song,  "Mad  Tom"  ("Forth 
from  this  dark  and  dismal  cell ") — so  long  credited 
to  Purcell,  though  printed  before  the  latter  was  born 
— need  only  be  named  to  be  remembered.  It  is  still 
not  uncommonly  sung  in  public.  The  publication  of 
songs  during  the  Commonwealth  would  scarcely  be 
expected  to  have  been  productive  of  any  very  notable 
work;  it  is  surprising,  therefore,  to  discover  such 
epoch-making  collections  as  Lawe's  Ayres  and  Dia- 
logues (1653)  and  Playford's  Select  Musical  Ayres 


Henry  Lawes  (1595-1662),  of  whom  Burney  thought 
so  little,  was  praised  by  all  the  famous  poets  of  his 
day.  These,  with  Milton  at  their  head,  were  ambitious 
of  having  their  verses  set  by  this  admirable  artist. 
The  reason  was  that  then  for  the  first  time  poetry 
was  treated  with  proper  consideration  by  the  com- 
poser. Milton's  words  express  Lawes'  achievement 
with  notable  accuracy: — 

11  Harry,  whose  tuneful  and  well-measured  song 
First  taught  our  English  music  how  to  span 
Words  with  just  note  and  accent,  not  to  scan 
With  Midas'  ears,  committing  short  and  long; 

To  after  age  thou  shall  be  writ  the  man, 
That  with  smooth  air  couldst  humour  best  our  tongue. 
Thou  honour'st  verse,  and  verse  must  lend  her  wing 
To  honour  thee." 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Burney  is  right  when  he  remarks  that  the  praise  of 
the  poets  is  durable  fame.  Songs  of  both  Henry  Lawes 
and  his  brother  William  are  constantly  reprinted  to  this 
day;  so  there  is  no  need  to  specify  the  songs  of  these 
composers.  The  same  copy  often  accommodated  three 
singers.  Two  stood  together;  the  third  held  the 
other  end  of  the  book  facing  the  two,  his  part  being 
printed  the  reverse  way  up. 

Playford's  publication  of  1653  is  remarkable  in  that 
it  preserves  some  eighty  songs  by  the  most  eminent 
writers  of  the  early  half  of  the  seventeenth  century,  and 
that  too  through  times  of  no  ordinary  political  difficulty, 
with  a  Puritanical  spirit  abroad  that  condemned  all 
secular  song.  A  dozen  composers  are  responsible  for 
the  settings,  which  are  for  one  voice  in  Book  I.,  for 
two  in  the  second  part,  while  the  third  is  for  three 
voices.  A  few  of  the  pieces  remain  anonymous ;  others 
are  ascribed  to  Dr.  Charles  Colman,  Edward  Colman, 
Henry  Lawes,  William  Lawes,  John  Taylor,  Jeremy 
Savile  (whose  "  Here's  a  health  unto  His  Majesty"  is 
everywhere  popular),  Dr.  Wilson,  Nicholas  Laneir, 
William  Tomkins,  William  Webbe,  William  Csesar 
(alias  Smegergill),  and  Thomas  Brewer.  As  a  speci- 
men of  this  class  of  song,  though  it  does  not  differ 
greatly  from  Lawes'  models,  we  transcribe  Dr.  Wilson's 
setting  of  "  Wert  thou  much  Fairer  than  thou  art." 
The  words  are  by  Cotgrave,  and  afterwards  appeared 
in  Wit's  Interpreter  (1655).  Henry  Bold  in  his  Latine 
Songs  (1685)  gave  a  version  of  this  poem  beginning 
"Si  prsesuisses  formula." 


"  Si  praesuisses  formula  " 

WERT  THOU  MUCH  FAIRER.  Dr.  Wilson. 




—  p- 

1-0      1 

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1  ^  —  *  1 

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Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Wert  thou  much  fairer  than  thou  art, 

Which  lies  not  in  the  power  of  art ; 

Or  hadst  thou  in  thy  eyes  more  darts 

Than  ever  Cupid  shot  at  hearts ; 
Yet  if  they  were  not  shot  at  me, 
I  should  not  cast  a  thought  on  thee. 

I'd  rather  marry  a  disease, 
Than  court  the  thing  I  cannot  please  ; 
She  that  would  cherish  my  desires, 
Must  court  my  flames  with  equal  fires. 
What  pleasure  is  there  in  a  kiss, 
To  him  that  doubts  her  heart  not  his  ? 

I  love  thee  not  because  th'art  fair, 
Softer  than  down,  smoother  than  air  ; 
Nor  for  the  Cupids  that  do  lie 
In  either  corner  of  thine  eye;1 

Would  you  then  know  what  it  might  be  ? 

JTis  I  love  you,  cause  you  love  me. 

Pelham  Humfreys  (1647-74)  nas  left  at  least  one  song 
that  is  remembered  with  favour.  This,  the  best  known, 
is  that  beginning  "  I  pass  all  my  hours  in  a  shady 
old  grove,"  the  words  of  which  are  by  Charles  II. 
Horace  Walpole  remarked  that  there  was  "  nothing  in 
this  amatory  song  to  contradict  the  report  of  its  having 
been  said  in  an  old  copy  to  be  written  by  this  witty 
prince."  "  He  never  said  a  foolish  thing,  nor  ever  did 
a  wise  one,"  said  Rochester;  the  king,  however,  replied, 

1  The  version  in  Wit's  Interpreter  reads  "  In  every  corner  of  thy 
eye,"  and  in  the  next  line  "  may"  for  "  might." 



m  *&*  lttdia.ii  <|)u:.e  en:  aj  itu  no  a/  Covipas'd  into  an 
P^^celi^^^M-^.  CroCs, 
anqra.y'd  by  Tho:  Cro£s  . 



II    .r  »S^  t       ^S        *fc  il  ' 

fA  £*  fc  /«// ; 

*f&v  'r  t&aljjft 

FIG.    l6. — "i    ATTEMl'T    FROM    LOVE'S  SICKNESS." 

Halliwell  Collection 

"his  actions  were  his  ministers,  while  his  words  were 
all  his  own."  The  song  is  printed  in  Playford's  Choice 
Ayres  (1676),  and  possibly  earlier.  Some  of  the  copies 
are  headed  "The  Phaenix." 

Perhaps  the  most  extraordinary  collection  of  songs 
ever  issued  under  one  authorship  (with  the  single 
exception  of  Schubert's),  is  that  known  as  Orpheus 
BritannicuS)  a  work  containing  (in  the  first  edition)  no 
less  than  71  compositions  by  Henry  Purcell.  It  was  put 
forward  by  the  musician's  wife  in  1698,  the  year  of  his 
death.  Such  pieces  as  "  I'll  Sail  upon  the  Dog-star," 
"I  attempt  from  Love's  Sickness"  and  "From  Rosy 
Bowers"1  (to  mention  only  three  of  the  best)  are  not 
likely  to  be  forgotten.  Though  Purcell  writes  in  a 
quaint  and  somewhat  antiquated  style,  the  inner  spirit 
is  instinct  with  fine  feeling,  and  the  melodies  are 
glowing  with  true  invention.  Our  facsimile  of  "  I 
attempt  from  Love's  Sickness  "  is  reproduced  from  the 
Halliwell  Collection,  Chetham  Library. 

Burney's  appreciation  (written  in  1789)  supplies 
curious  reading,  in  view  of  the  great  popularity  the 
song  now  enjoys.  "  I  attempt  from  Love's  Sickness," 
says  he,  "is  an  elegant  little  ballad,  which  though  it 
has  been  many  years  dead,  would  soon  be  recalled  into 
existence  and  fashion,  by  the  voice  of  some  favourite 
singer,  who  should  think  it  worth  animation."  The 
version  above  given  agrees  in  all  respects  with  that 
which  afterwards  was  printed  in  the  Orpheus  Britan- 
nicus.  It  is  perhaps  worth  pointing  out  that  the 
1  Recently  reprinted  by  Augener. 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

second  melody-note  of  the  last  engraved  line  is  D- 
natural — that  is,  a  flat  leading  note  ;  whereas  all  our 
modern  copies  sharpen  the  note.  The  engraver,  Thomas 
Cross,  was  contemporary  with  Purcell,  whom  he  out- 
lived. He  won  much  repute  by  engraving  (with  great 
accuracy)  on  copper-plates,  when  other  printers  were 
everywhere  employing  metal  types.  In  a  complimentary 
address  (written  by  H.  Hall,  Organist  of  Hereford)  to 
Henry  Playford,  prefixed  to  the  Orpheus  Britannicus 
(1706),  there  is  the  following  curious  reference  to  this 
Thomas  Cross  : — 

"  Duly  each  day,  our  young  composers  bait  us, 
With  most  insipid  songs,  and  sad  Sonatos. 
Well  were  it,  if  the  world  would  lay  embargos 
On  such  Allegros  and  such  Poco  Largos  ; 
And  would  enact  it,  there  presume  not  any 
To  teaze  Corelli,  or  burlesque  Bessani ; 
Nor  with  division,  and  ungainly  graces, 
Eclipse  good  sense,  as  weighty  wigs  do  faces. 
Then  honest  Cross  might  copper  cut  in  vain, 
And  half  our  sonnet-sellers  starve  again." 

The  most  popular  tune,  considered  as  a  mere  tune, 
that  Purcell  ever  wrote,  was  the  air  which  became 
associated  with  Lord  Wharton's  "  Lilli  Burlero."  Dr. 
Percy  (in  the  Reliques]  remarks,  "The  following  rhymes, 
slight  and  insignificant  as  they  may  now  seem,  had 
once  a  more  powerful  effect  than  either  the  Philippics 
of  Demosthenes,  or  Cicero  ;  and  contributed  not  a  little 
towards  the  great  revolution  in  1688.  Burnet  adds 


"Lilli  Burlero" 

that  "the  whole  army,  and  at  last  the  people,  both  in 
city  and  country,  were  singing-  it  perpetually.  And 
perhaps  never  had  so  slight  a  thing  so  great  an  effect." 
The  most  remarkable  thing,  to  our  thinking,  is  the  fact 
that  the  words  are  not  worth  copying  out.  Here  is  the 
first  stanza  (for  the  whole  twelve,  the  reader  is  referred 
to  Percy's  Reliques  of  Ancient  English  Poetry]-. — 

Ho,  broder  Teague,  dost  hear  de  decree  ? 

Lilli  burlero,  bullen  a-la. 

Dat  we  shall  have  a  new  deputie, 

Lilli  burlero,  bullen  a-la. 

Lero  lero,  lilli  burlero,  lero  lero,  bullen  a-la, 
Lero  lero,  lilli  burlero,  lero  lero,  bullen  a-la. 

Purcell's  air,  on  the  other  hand,  has  a  sprightliness 
and  rhythmic  grace  that  would  easily  account  for  its 
becoming  a  favourite  in  town  and  country.  Uncle 
Toby,  it  has  been  observed,  showed  his  discretion  in 
'whistling  it.  Here  is  the  air,  with  Purcell's  own 
harmony,  copied  from  Musicke's  Handmaid  (Part  I.; 
1689),  one  year  after  it  had  figured  with  Wharton's 
astonishing  verse: — 



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Henry  Purcell. 

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Story  of  Minstrelsy 



Charles  L 
(Ace,  1625) 

Looking  backward  for  a  moment,  we  have  passed 
over  his  Majesty  King  Charles  I.,  whose  setting  of 
"  Mark  how  the  Blushful  Morn"  is  given  in 
the  Guise  MS.  (British  Museum).  In  Select 
Ayres  and  Dialogues  (1669),  the  song  is 
given  to  Nicholas  Laneir.  A  word  should  also  be  de- 
voted to  Matthew  Lock,  to  whom  (says  Hawkins)  "the 
world  is  indebted  for  the  first  rules  ever  published  in 


Blow's  "Amphion" 

this  kingdom  on  the  subject  of  continued  or  thorough- 
bass."    The  historian  adds  that  the  book  is  entitled 
Melothesia  (1673).     We  are  only  concerned 
with   Lock's   songs.      One  of  these,    "  My  \^ 

Lodging  is  on  the  Cold  Ground" — the  (1632-77) 
original  setting — has  recently  been  reprinted. 
Another  air  by  Lock — an  inferior  one,  however — became 
famous  in  its  day.  This  was  "The  Delights  of  the 
Bottle,"  a  never-failing  source  of  inspiration  in  seven- 
teenth-century vocalism. 

A  few  songs  by  Dr.  Blow  have  survived.     Of  these  we 
may  place  first  a  charming  little  setting  of  Rochester's 
verses,   "  All  my  Past  Life  is  mine  Alone." 
Others  by  the  same  composer  (still  in  our  8*1708) 

modern  collections)  are,  "We  all  to  Con- 
quering Beauty  bow,"  and  "It  is  not  that  I  Love  you 
Less " — both  good  airs.  Dr.  Blow's  publication  of 
his  collection  entitled  Amphion  (in  imitation  of  Purcell's 
Orpheus  Britannicus]  was  a  dire  failure;  it  includes 
one  good  song — namely,  the  above-mentioned  "It  is 
not  that  I  Love  you  Less."  Burney  wrote  of  Blow — 
his  ballads  "are  in  general  more  smooth  and  natural 
than  his  other  productions,  and,  indeed,  than  any  other 
ballads  of  his  time;  there  is  more  melody  than  in  those 
of  Henry  Lawes,  or  any  composers  of  the  preceding 
reign ;  yet  it  is  not  of  that  grateful  kind  in  which  the 
Italians  were  now  advancing  towards  perfection,  with 
great  rapidity."  If  Burney  were  now  living,  would  he 
consider  perfection  attained  either  in  Italy  or  England  ? 
Echo  answers — Neither  in  Italy  nor  England  ! 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Richard  Leveridge  (1670-1758)  was  an  excellent  bass 
singer,  and  took  part  in  many  of  Purcell's  composi- 
tions. His  own  songs  are  numerous,  but  of  very 
unequal  merit.  One  modern  collection  contains  seven 
of  Leveridge's  pieces.1  Perhaps  the  best  song  this 
musician  has  left  is  his  setting  of  "  Who  is  Sylvia?"  a 
remarkably  expressive  and  melodious  air.  His  popu- 
larity must,  of  course,  be  ascribed  to  the  well-known 
song,  "  The  Roast  Beef  of  Old  England." 

There  is  no  difficulty  in  assigning  a  worthy  place 
among  song-writers  to  Henry  Carey  (1692-1743).  His 
claim  to  "God  save  the  King"  is  probably  mistaken; 
and  the  tune  usually  sung  to  "  Sally  in  our  Alley"  is 
merely  an  adaptation  of  an  older  tune.2  Concerning 
"  Sally  in  our  Alley,"  a  writer  in  Grove's  Dictionary 
describes  it  as  "one  of  the  most  striking  and  original 
melodies  that  ever  emanated  from  the  brain  of  a 
musician!"  Two  of  Carey's  best  songs  are  "  Saw  ye 
the  Nymph?"  and  "Brave  Grenadiers  rejoice,"  both 
recently  reprinted. 

A  few  of  Dr.  Greene's  songs  claim  to  rank  with  the 
best  of  their  day.  We  shall  content  ourselves  with 
quoting  "The  Merry  Cuckoo,  Messenger  of  Spring," 
a  most  spontaneous  strain;  and  the  once  famous 
"  Busy,  Curious,  Thirsty  Fly,"  of  which  William  Oldys 
wrote  the  words.  The  same  composer's  "  Orpheus 
with  his  Lute "  is  well  worth  reprinting ;  though, 

1  Minstrelsy  of  England  (h..  Moffat). 

2  On  the  authority  of  Chappell  and  Hullah  ;  but  the  words  remain 


L  He   Vocal    \jf 


r  Will:  Monla: 

)        When,  a  bnqk.  God  ofdzlt.drove  to  vest. ward  each  rawttff eventny  vafCkar 

}'*"»-_AL""".--  I  -  .,  n,  "...          Q- '    mnn     .-^"1.       j  ...  ---u,- 



..  ..      . 

;(C  Si!?tttlojpfitnuiiyt,iitnklu'sfJtt&  oer  t h?  vlJlnQ  oar  tkiidd»>vs  like  Gr 

iin.,nim.l>ly  skim.  (>cr  •'tyour  Shaidovs  like  Gyan.t 

-L  I      I 

^  /lie  Quants  <tfpe<trt- 
\       \    j. "     T"}^"! 

H^^ea.  v    f!<-<tn  n>a$  in  f  lover, 
slnd  TLe-pkar  brothel oJittrs  around 


To  ckarm.  all  jjvrove  rsitk  the  Sound, 

>rev    \>owers    Ske  suns, 
mile  tA*  AarwoftY  ^4?- 

Tie  industrious  Bees, 
FWm  ftAe  flowers  ant}  tree*. 

CXAe  ««u   Gr&c/  of  Lotw, 

«)t9</  oer  t^jr'c> 
yontlitcttd  al<3» 

e  beat  time  «*uA  AtV  »««?*, 
#cc4o  rctvtted  i^t* 


Hon>  VQU  ven,tit.ra  teo  near, 
Xot«  it  JouUeiy  &rm!tl  far  to 

YOKT-  fete  you  c«n*  *Aan  ^ 
/3(«</  yot(Ve  rarely,  undone . 
!^vdb  rasktu  zpprQtck  »fffa»*  t4« 

FIG.    17. —     THE  VOCAL  GROVE. 

"Rule  Britannia!" 

as  far  as  the  writer  is  aware,  this  has  not  lately  been 

Charle(s  Young  was  organist  of  Allhallows,  Barking, 
about  the  year  1720.  His  eldest  daughter,  Cecilia,  be- 
came the  wife  of  Dr.  Arne.  The  songs  of  Young  are 
mostly  dead  and  gone,  though  it  is  of  interest  to  note 
that  his  setting  of  Waller's  "It  is  not  that  I  Love 
you  Less "  has  been  recently  reprinted.1  We  give 
a  facsimile  of  another  of  Young's  songs,  from  the 
Halliwell  Collection,  Chetham  Library.  The  plate 
shows  that  the  words  of  this  song  were  written  by 
Mr.  William  Monlass,  concerning  whom  we  can  offer 
no  information.  The  lyric  has  often  been  published 
(without  music),  as,  for  example,  in  The  Hive  (1732). 
Mr.  Hullah  included  it,  with  a  different  air,  in  his 
excellent  Song  Book  (Macmillan).  In  the  fourth  bar 
of  the  last  line  of  our  facsimile  the  note  F  is  a  mistake ; 
it  should  be  E,  as  is  seen  from  the  flute  part.  The 
third  stanza  mentions  "  Rosy  Bowers" — an  allusion  to 
Purcell's  great  song  of  that  name. 

Dr.  Arne  (1710-78)  is  now  known  almost  solely 
as  a  song-writer.  His  oratorios  and  dramatic  pieces 
are  silent  and  forgotten,  and  yet  it  is  little  over  a 
century  since  these  were  in  full  favour.  Fortunately, 
his  songs,  or  the  best  of  them,  are  not  so  perishable. 
"  Rule  Britannia,"  which  Wagner  found  to  sum  up 
the  English  character,  has  taken  its  place  with  the 
few  really  national  English  tunes.  The  Shakespeare 
settings  are  highly  popular,  especially  "Blow,  blow, 
1  In  Mr.  Moffat's  Minstrelsy  of  England. 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

thou  Wintry  Wind,"  "  Under  the  Greenwood  Tree," 
"  When  Daisies  pied,"  "Where  the  Bee  sucks,"  etc. 
Arne  wrote  a  vast  number  of  songs,  some,  if  not  most, 
of  which  appear  childish  to  modern  ears;  nevertheless, 
the  reprints  scarcely  offer  all  that  is  best  of  this  great 
musician.  Lyric  Harmony  alone  would  furnish  several 
songs  that  should  not  be  forgotten. 

A  contemporary  of  Arne,  and  a  distinguished  Church 
musician,  Dr.  Boyce  (1710-79),  has  left  us  one  song 
that  will  carry  his  name  and  fame  to  many  succeeding 
generations  of  Englishmen.  We,  of  course,  refer  to 
11  Hearts  of  Oak" — a  jolly  sea-song,  which  owes  some 
of  its  popularity  to  Garrick's  sturdy  words. 

No  song-writer  of  his  period  was  more  successful, 
within  certain  limits,  than  was  Charles  Dibdin  (1745- 
1814).  "  Tom  Bowling  "  and  "  Blow  high,  Blow  low  " 
appear  to  be  his  two  finest  songs.  But  among  the 
three  thousand  works,  in  poetry  and  music,  which  this 
prolific  composer  bequeaths  to  us,  there  are  many 
others  which  are  still  in  vogue. 

Perhaps,  of  Dibdin's  contemporaries,  the  popularity 
of  Shield  most  nearly  approached  his  own.  Such  songs 
as  "Old  Towler"  and  "The  Wolf"  are  Shield's  surest 
appeals  to  fame,  indeed,  the  first-named  is  the  best 
hunting-song  of  its  century. 

Sir  Henry  Bishop  (1786-1855)  has  enjoyed  a  large 
reputation,  which,  however,  as  time  goes  on,  cannot 
be  said  to  increase.  The  modern  development  of 
music,  which  has  played  such  havoc  with  most  of 
the  English  composers  of  his  period,  has  dealt  little 



less  leniently  with  his  own  works.  There  is  one 
quality  traceable  in  his  songs  which  will  always  assist 
their  performance,  and  that  is  their  extremely  vocal 
practicability.  Singers  like  singing  them,  and  that  is 
much.  "  Home,  sweet  Home,"  for  sentimental  reasons, 
is  of  world- wide  fame.  *  *  Should  he  Upbraid  "  and  ' '  Bid 
me  Discourse,"  and  many  others  are  still  in  demand. 

Another  song-composer  of  greater  invention  and 
no  less  musicianship  was  Balfe  (1808-70).  Our  remark 
(hazarded  in  Bishop's  case)  is  no  less  applicable  to  the 
brilliant  Irish  melodist.  Most  of  Balfe's  songs  are 
still  with  us,  but  they  are  being  performed  less  and 
less  everyday.  "Come  into  the  Garden,  Maud,"  will 
probably  not  be  so  much  heard  in  future;  though 
the  song  is  (of  its  class)  an  exceedingly  effective  one. 
"  Good-night,  Beloved"  is  undoubtedly  among  the  best 
of  Balfe's  single  songs.  We  shall  be  surprised  if,  in 
the  compression  which  invariably  overtakes  the  least 
voluminous  writer — just  as  it  does  him  who  leaves 
whole  archives — the  "  Good-night,"  and  perhaps  the 
"  Arrow  and  the  Song,"  together  with  the  whole  of  the 
Bohemian  Girl,  do  not  stand  as  representative  works, 
by  which  Balfe  will  be  remembered. 

Madrigals  are  not,  strictly  speaking,  Minstrelsy, 
though  many  of  the  earliest  examples,  if  we  include 
"  Sumer  is  icumen  in,"  must  have  been  sung  by  the 
minstrels  or  their  successors.  The  fifteenth  century 
certainly  witnessed  the  more  legitimate  style  of  mad- 
rigal, an  offspring  of  the  so-called  Flemish  school. 
The  first  published  book  of  madrigals  appeared  at 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Venice  in  1501,  and  some  twenty-nine  years  later  a 
collection  of  part-songs  was  issued  in  England  from 
the  press  of  Wynken  de  Worde,  containing  com- 
positions by  Taverner  and  others.  Byrde's  Psalms  and 
Sonnets  y  issued  in  1588,  are  somewhat  in  the  spirit  of 
the  true  madrigal  style,  which  was  further  developed  by 
Morley,  Weelkes,  Dowland,  Benet,  Hilton,  and  Este. 
The  name  of  Orlando  Gibbons  must  also  be  added  to 
the  list  of  those  who  carried  the  form  to  perfection. 
The  author  and  composer  of  "  Where  griping  Grief," 
Richard  Edwardes  (mentioned  in  another  part  of  our 
book),  was  himself  an  excellent  madrigal-writer.  John 
Immyns,  in  1741,  founded  a  society  which  is  said  to  be 
the  oldest  musical  association  in  Europe,  and  styled  it 
the  Madrigal  Society.  From  a  humble  meeting-place 
at  the  "Twelve  Bells  "  in  Bride  Lane,  with  a  membership 
of  no  more  than  sixteen,  this  little  London  music  club 
successfully  carried  forward  its  founder's  aims,  gradually 
expanding  its  influence  and  enrolling  many  of  the  most 
prominent  musicians  from  that  day  to  this. 

A  long  interval  occurred  between  the  decadence  of 
the  Madrigal  and  the  rise  of  the  English  Glee.  The 
former  ceased  to  be  much  cultivated  either  at  home  or 
abroad  after  1650,  while  the  Glee  did  not  come  in  until 
the  latter  part  of  the  seventeenth  century.  The  essential 
difference  between  Madrigal  and  Glee  lay  in  the  contra- 
puntal character  of  the  former,  which  was  altogether 
lacking  in  the  latter.  Madrigals,  too,  had  modes ;  not 
so  the  Glee,  which  had  a  modern  tonality.  Both  were 
unaccompanied.  The  spontaneity  of  the  more  modern 


Madrigals  and  Glees 

form  was  its  chief  beauty.  Many  subjects  could  be 
introduced,  touched  upon  lightly,  and  as  lightly  aban- 
doned. On  the  other  hand,  development  was  a  salient 
feature  of  the  older  form.  Samuel  Webbe  (1740- 
1816)  was  perhaps  the  best  glee-writer,  though  more 
eminent  masters,  such  as  Arne  and  Boyce,  essayed  the 
form.  Stevens  in  his  well-known  "  Ye  spotted  Snakes," 
reproduced  the  features  of  the  instrumental  first-move- 
ment form;  in  an  elementary  likeness,  it  is  true,  but 
nevertheless  with  success.  To  the  names  of  the  com- 
posers who  excelled  as  glee-writers  we  may  add  those 
of  Calcott,  Horsley,  Cooke,  Danby,  and  Spofforth ;  and 
the  list  is  then  far  from  being  exhausted. 

It  is  not  impossible  that  madrigals  and  glees  may 
again  come  into  popular  use.  Our  system  of  musical 
education,  at  present  almost  exclusively  tending  in  the 
direction  of  instrumental  music,  cannot  be  expected  to 
permanently  exclude  the  vocal  forms,  which  necessitate 
for  their  true  enjoyment  an  active  participation  in  their 
performance.  If,  however,  music  is  completely  domi- 
nated by  professionalism,  so  that  instead  of  singing  we 
prefer  to  pay  to  hear  others  sing,  all  this  glee  and 
madrigal  music  is  for  the  time  being,  at  all  events, 
thrown  utterly  to  waste,  when  it  might  have  been 
turned  to  excellent  profit. 



A  word  to  the  Folksong  Society— Song-collecting — Author's  experi- 
ment— "  Come,  all  ye  Foxhunters" — Adieu. 

IN  taking  leave  of  our  subject,  we  venture  to  address  a 
few  words  to  the  members  of  the  Folksong  Society,  and 
to  others  who  labour  in  the  same  field.  Quite  a  rich 
harvest  has  been  gathered  in,  since  1859,  when  Mr. 
William  Chappell  sounded  the  call  to  such  pleasing  duty. 
Many  an  interesting  song  is  still  awaiting  the  indus- 
trious collector,  who  should  be  encouraged  to  continue 
his  self-imposed  task,  despite  the  uncertainty  he  can 
never  escape,  as  to  whether  others  have  anticipated  his 
efforts.  The  reason  of  this  is  not  far  to  seek.  Such 
labour  is  never  entirely  wasted.  Even  supposing 
traditional  ballads  be  several  times  copied,  so  much  the 
better,  for  the  precise  reason  that  singers  and  copyists 
are  not  infallible;1  nor  is  it  the  best  version  of  a  song 
that  necessarily  first  finds  print. 

1  There  is  a  reference  to  a  somewhat  risky  method  of  collecting 
unwritten  songs,  which  occurs  in  Hone's  Ancient  Mysteries  (1823),  as 
follows: — "This  collection  [viz.,  89  Christmas  carols]  I  have  had 
little  opportunity  of  increasing  except  when  in  the  country  I  have  heaid 
an  old  woman  singing  an  old  carol,  and  brought  back  the  carol  in  my 
pocket  with  less  chance  of  its  escape,  than  the  tune  in  my  head." 
Schubert  trusted  the  same  treacherous  vehicle,  the  memory,  and  the 


FIG.  18. — "TALLY-HO." 

Tally-ho ! " 

Not  to  be  behindhand  in  the  practice  here  referred 
to,  the  present  writer  has  essayed  a  humble  effort, 
the  result  of  which  he  now  offers  to  his  readers. 
The  ballad  was  taken  down  during  a  holiday  in  Patter- 
dale  (Ulleswater),  where,  thanks  to  the  good  offices  of 
mine  host  of  the  "White  Lion,"  an  opportunity  was 
afforded  of  investigating  the  traditional  songs  of  the 
place.  It  will  be  seen  that  the  ballad,  which  is  full  of 
local  allusions,  describes  a  fox-hunt  in  the  immediate 
neighbourhood.  Everybody  in  the  district  knew  the 
song,  but  nobody  had  so  far  seen  or  heard  of  a  printed 
copy.  So  with  that  it  was  jotted  down,  from  the  hearty 
strains  of  "Old  Joe  Hunt"  (the  Patterdale  huntsman), 
while  a  friend  secured  the  words  in  shorthand.  The 
latter  were  composed  by  one  Mark  Steel,  a  shoemaker 
of  some  sixty  or  seventy  years  ago.  The  air  should 
be  much  older.  For  convenience  of  performance  a 
pianoforte  accompaniment  is  added. 


Come  all  ye  fox-hunters,  where'er  ye  may  dwell ; 

I  pray  give  attention,  to  whom  I  will  tell; 

It's  concerning  a  fox  which  we  lately  did  kill, 

By  the  hounds  of  Squire  Head,  which  lived  at  Jenny  Hill. 

Tally-ho,  hark  away  ! 

Tally-ho,  hark  away ! 

Tally-ho,  tally-ho,  hark  away  ! 

Hungarian  air  which  he  heard  in  a  kitchen  at  Zelesz  (which  afterwards 
appeared  in  the  Divertissement),  was  kept  in  mind  by  his  humming  it 
over  at  intervals,  until  home  was  reached,  with  pen  and  paper  available. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

We  rose  from  our  beds  on  a  fine  winter's  morn, 
At  the  cry  of  the  hounds  and  the  sound  of  the  horn ; 
Our  sportsmen  were  few,  but  our  skill  for  to  try, 
We  thought  in  new  planting  bold  Reynard  to  lie. 
Tally-ho,  etc. 

Now,  'twas  after  we'd  ranged  it  and  found  not  a  drag, 
We  thought  we  would  try  to  the  Colliers'  Hag, 
And  after  we'd  ranged  it  all  over  the  plain, 
We  came  to  his  lair  in  Collier  Hag  stane. 
Tally-ho,  etc. 

Now  'twas  in  at  him  our  terriers  did  rush, 
When  they  soon  brought  him  out,  hanging  on  at  his  brush ; 
But  Joe  being  true  sportsman,  cries  off  let  him  go  ! 
And  away  went  the  hounds  in  a  view  tally-ho. 
Tally-ho,  etc. 

Now  'twas  up  Swinburn  Park  they  made  him  to  hie, 
JTwas  late  on  the  day,  and  Helvellyn  looked  high, 
When  our  gallant  hounds  him  quickly  pursue, 
When  they  crossed  Airey  Bridge  they  came  up  in  full  view. 
Tally-ho,  etc. 

Now  'tis  up  Glencoin  Park  like  lightning  they  fly, 
Resolved  for  the  top  of  Brew  Planting  to  try ; 
But  our  hounds  being  near  him,  which  he  didn't  like, 
He  made  for  a  bourne  called  Erring-green  Pike. 
Tally-ho,  etc. 

But  our  hounds  having  sworn  him  they'd  end  him  his  race, 
They  turned  him  down  t'rake  in  a  rallying  pace ; 
Then  right  down  the  screes  to  Glenridding  they  went, 
When  he  washed  in  the  river  to  throw  off  his  scent, 
Tally-ho,  etc. 


In  Full  Cry 

Now  up  Glamara  Park  he  made  a  bold  try, 
But  our  hounds  made  him  shuther  and  look  very  shy ; 
When  Towler  and  Barmaid  got  close  to  his  heels, 
They  forced  him  again  to  return  down  the  fields. 

Tally-ho,  etc. 

Now  he  passed  the  "King's  Arms,"  but  had  no  time  to  rest, 
When  a  drop  of  good  beer  would  have  quenched  his  thirst, 
When  dash  down  the  garden  of  Geldert  he  goes, 
Expecting  he  there  should  escape  from  his  foes. 

Tally-ho,  etc. 

Next  through  the  churchyard  to  the  school-porch  he  went, 
When  finding  the  master  on  mischief  was  bent, 
He  called  on  our  parson  his  sins  to  forgive : 
He  was  afraid  that  he  had  not  much  longer  to  live. 
Tally-ho,  etc. 

Now  to  Ulleswater  he  so  slyly  does  creep, 

To  baffle  our  hounds  he  would  wash  in  the  deep : 

But  our  hounds  being  good  gamesters,  maintained  on  their 


They  made  him  comply  with  our  old  ancient  laws. 
Tally-ho,  etc. 

Now,  whilst  he  was  creeping  by  Jenkin  Wood  side, 
Up  came  little  Ruby  and  soon  him  she  spied, 
With  the  rest  of  our  hounds  being  up  in  full  cry, 
And  they  seize  him  and  make  his  old  jacket  to  fly. 
Tally-ho,  etc. 

Then  up  rode  Mr.  Hutchinson,  likewise  Squire  Head: 
They  knew  by  their  hounds  that  bold  reynard  was  dead, 

3°5  x 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

When  they  leapt  over  paling  and  came  up  with  a  rush, 
And  took  up  bold  reynard  and  cut  off  his  brush. 
Tally-ho,  etc. 

So  now  the  sport's  over,  without  more  delay 
To  the  village  called  Patterdale  we  bore  him  away, 
When  musical  toast  in  bumpers  goes  round : 
Long  life  and  success  to  both  Hunter  and  Hound! 

Tally-ho,  hark  away ! 

Tally-ho,  hark  away ! 

Tally-ho,  tally-ho,  hark  away ! 

Another  Patterdale  man  gave  the  same  song  with  a 
different  burden.     Thus: — 

Tal-ly  -  ho!Tal-ly  -  ho!  Tally  -hoi  Tally-ho!  hark  a-wayl 

A  few  further  songs  of  the  chase  were  readily  forth- 
coming; but  enough  has  been  said  for  our  present 

Finally,  in  view  of  the  descriptive  list  of  modern 
collections  of  traditional  airs  and  ballads  given  in 
Appendix  A,  the  reader  will  be  enabled  to  pursue  the 
subject  at  will;  and  he  will  find  that  it  is  one  which 
grows  in  interest  the  further  he  follows  it.  We  bid 
adieu  to  the  old  Minstrels  and  their  art  with  the  one 
regret  —  vain  though  it  be  —  that  we  have  to  part  com- 
pany so  soon,  and  cannot  travel  further  down  the  same 
road,  which  discovers  so  much  delightful  country  on 
either  hand,  much  of  which  remains  still  unexplored. 






Appendix  A. 


THE  literature  dealing  with  minstrelsy  is  scattered  broadcast  in 
histories,  dictionaries,  and  song  collections.  From  a  literary  point  of 
view,  Percy's  Reliques  of  Ancient  English  Poetry  and  Ritson's  Ancient 
Songs  are  much  the  best,  and  almost  the  earliest.  From  a  musical 
standpoint,  Chappell's  Popular  Music  and  its  forerunner,  Ancient 
Melodies,  offer  the  greatest  amount  of  information,  and  may  be  regarded 
as  the  first  systematic  attempts  to  give  a  complete  account  of  English 

Hawkins  and  Burney  give  a  large  amount  of  details  concerning  our 
subject,  but  neither  historian  thought  it  worth  while  to  render  any 
well-digested  account  of  the  minstrels  as  a  class.  Grove's  Dictionary, 
though  it  also  contains  a  mass  of  random  details,  notices  only  two 
distinct  points  in  connection  with  minstrelsy.  The  first  deals  with  the 
foundation  of  the  Musicians'  Company,  the  second  occurs  in  the  article 
on  Song,  where  the  troubadours,  minnesingers,  and  English  song- 
writers generally  are  considered  in  Mrs.  Edmond  Wodehouse's 
comprehensive  article. 

As  all  the  histories  of  music,  in  addition  to  the  encyclopaedias,  etc., 
of  necessity  treat  of  portions  of  our  subject,  it  is  unnecessary  to  mention 
them  in  detail. 

History  of  Poetry,  1778  ;  Thomas  Warton. 

A  General  History  of  Music,  by  Dr.  Busby  (2  vols.).     London,  1819. 
Bibliotheca  Madrigaliana,  1847  ;  E.  F.  Rimbault. 
Histoire  de  1'Harmonie  au  Moyen  Age,  1852  ;  Les  Harmonistes  des 
126  et  136  Sibcles,  1864;  L'Art  Harmonique,  1865;  Coussemaker. 
History  of  the  Opera,  2  vols.,  1862;  H.  Sutherland  Edwards. 
Transition  Period  (a  series  of  lectures),  1865-76  ;  Hullah. 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Introduction  to  the  Study  of  National  Music,  1866 ;  Carl  Engel. 

Die  Tansmusik,  1868  ;  Herr  Ungewitter. 

Storia  Universale  del  Canto,  2  vols.,  1873  5  G.  Fantoni. 

The  Troubadours :  A  History  of  Provencal  Life  and  Literature  of  the 
Middle  Ages,  1878;  Francis  Hueffer.  One  of  the  few  English 
books  on  this  interesting  phase  of  music. 

Literature  of  National  Music,  1879;  Carl  Engel. 

National  Music  of  the  World,  1880-82  (posthumous);  H.  F.  Chorley. 

Ouseley's  Additions  to  Naumann's  History,  1880-85  ;  Cassell  &  Co. 

Le  Chant,  ses  Principes,  et  son  Histoire,  1881;  Lemaire  &  Lavoix. 

History  of  Music  (to  the  Time  of  the  Troubadours),  1885-87;  J.  F. 

The  Story  of  British  Music,  by  Frederick  J.  Crowest  (Richard  Bentley 
&  Son,  1896),  covers  more  of  the  ground  traversed  in  the  present 
pages  than  any  other  volume  in  this  list.  It  is  well  illustrated, 
and  forms  the  best  account  of  British  Music  from  "the  earliest 
times  to  the  Tudor  period  "  which  the  nineteenth  century  brought 
forth.  The  volume  takes  a  much  wider  scope  than  does  the  Story 
of  Minstrelsy ',  which  by  its  very  restrictions  should  tend  to  throw 
light  on  a  phase  of  music  admittedly  obscure  and  hitherto  almost 

Notes  on  an  Undescribed  Collection  of  English  Fifteenth-century  Music 
issued  in  the  Sammelbande  (April-May  1901),  by  W.  Barclay 

Makers  of  Song,  1905,  Anna  Alice  Chaplin.  An  excellent  account  of 
the  troubadours,  minnesingers,  meistersingers,  Purcell,  etc. 

The  Morris  Book :  A  History  of  Morris  Dancing,  by  Cecil  J.  Sharp 
and  Herbert  C.  Macilwaine.  London,  1907;  Novello  &  Co. 


Song  collecting  must  be  allowed  to  have  all  the  prestige  that  anti- 
quity can  confer  upon  it.  It  has  also  been  the  diversion  of  kings. 
Charlemagne  was  an  enthusiastic  patron  of  ancient  minstrelsy ;  so,  too, 
was  our  own  King  Alfred.  Many  of  the  troubadours'  songs  are  still 
extant,  as  are  those  of  the  minnesingers  and  meistersingers  of  later 
times.  Of  really  ancient  English  songs  there  remain  scarcely  more 
than  the  scanty  few  scattered  in  these  pages.  Such  are  the  Cornish 
Carol  (on  page  220),  "  Sumer  is  icumen  in,"  the  "Agincourt  Song," 
and  the  carol  on  page  100.  With  the  advent  of  the  Tudor  period  we 


Appendix  A 

touch  surer  ground.  The  extension  of  the  art  of  printing  to  music 
characters  (under  Wynken  de  Worde)  gave  a  new  impetus  to  song  col- 
lecting, which  practically  begins  about  that  time.  We  add  a  short 
survey  of  the  national  song  collections  of  England. 

Early  English  Harmony,  edited  by  Professor  Wooldridge,  for  the 
Plainsong  and  Mediaeval  Music  Society  (1897),  contains  facsimile  photo- 
graphs of  a  few  of  the  most  ancient  specimens  of  English  music.  The 
following  extract  from  the  index  of  the  volume  referred  to  mentions 
those  pieces  which  most  nearly  concern  our  subject : — 

Cornish  Carol,  in  two  parts,  from  the  Bodley  MS.  572,  fol.  50 ;  be- 
ginning at  the  words  "  Ut  tuo  propitiatus,"  written  in  alphabetic 
notation ;  tenth  century. 

"  Sumer  is  icumen  in,"  in  Harley  MS.  978,  British  Museum;  thirteenth 

"  Worldis  blis  ne  last  no  throwe,"  Bodley  MS.  (thirteenth  century),  and 
another  copy  in  Arundel  (fourteenth  century). 

Dance  Tune,  Bodley  MS. ;  thirteenth  century. 

"Angelus  ad  Virginem,"  Arundel  MS.  248;  fourteenth  century. 
Another  copy  in  Cambridge  Univ.  Lib. 

Several  fifteenth-century  Carols  from  Bodleian  Library. 

A  group  of  three-part  pieces  by  Dunstable  and  Benet ;  fifteenth 

Among  modern  reprints  of  ancient  songs,  etc.,  may  be  mentioned  the 
following : — 

Carols  of  the  Fifteenth  Century;  edited  by  J.  A.  Fuller-Maitland,  M.  A., 
F.S.A.  (Leadenhall  Press).*  This  excellent  print  contains  thirteen 
carols  given  in  their  original  form  from  a  manuscript  roll  in  the 
Library  of  Trinity  College,  Cambridge.  The  editor  conjectures 
that  the  whole  set  may  be  by  Dunstable.  The  first  lines  of  the 
carols  are  as  follows  : — 

Hail !  Mary,  ful  of  grace,  Modyr  in  virgynytee. 

Nowel,  nowel,  nowel  !     To  us  is  born  owr  god  emanuel. 

Alma  redemptoris  mater. 

Now  may  we  syngyn  as  it  is. 

Be  mery,  be  mery,  I  prey  zow  every  chon. 

Nowel  syng  we  now  al  and  sum. 

Deo  gracias  anglia  (the  "  Agincourt  Song"). 

Now  make  we  merthe  a"l  and  sum. 

Abyde  I  hope  it  be  the  beste. 

Qwat  tydyngis  bryngyst  thou,  massager  ? 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Eya  martir  Stephane. 

Prey  for  us  the  Prynce  of  Pees. 

Ther  is  no  rose  of  swych  vertu. 

The  Appendix  adds  a  copy  of  the  Oxford  version  of  the  "  Agincourt 
Song"  (MS.  Arch.  B.  Seld.,  10,  Bodleian  Library). 

Collection  of  Songs,  printed  by  Wynken  de  VVorde  in  1530.  Only  the 
bass  part  is  in  the  British  Museum.  It  is  not  impossible  that  the 
other  parts  may  yet  be  forthcoming  from  one  of  the  great  private 
libraries,  where  Wynken  de  Worde's  name  would  secure  preserva- 
tion when  the  mere  antiquity  of  the  songs  would  fail.  Compositions 
are  herein  contained  by  Cornysshe,  Gwynneth,  Jones,  Cooper,  and 

Christmas  Carols  (1521),  printed  by  Wynken  de  Worde.  One  leaf 
only  is  preserved.  From  this,  however,  the  famous  "  Boar's  Head 
Carol "  has  come  down  to  us. 

Pammelia  (1609),  Deuteromelia  (1609),  and  Melismata  (1611).  The 
three  great  song  collections  by  Thomas  Ravenscroft  are  unmatched 
in  their  variety,  age,  and  excellence.  Some  of  the  songs  come 
from  the  time  of  Henry  VII.,  if  not  earlier.  Many  are  given  in  the 
form  of  Catches  and  Rounds.  See  p.  196  of  our  text  for  an 

Fitzwilliam  Virginal  Book.  Edited  by  J.  A.  Fuller  Maitland  and 
W.  Barclay  Squire.  2  vols.  Breitkopf  &  Haertel,  1899.  This 
famous  collection,  so  long  erroneously  known  as  "Queen  Elizabeth's 
Virginal  Book,"  is  understood  to  have  been  made  between  1550- 
1620.  The  MS.  (preserved  in  the  Fitzwilliam  Museum,  Cam- 
bridge) is  a  small  folio  of  220  leaves,  written  on  six-line  staves 
ruled  by  hand.  Its  importance  to  Minstrelsy  arises  from  the 
number  of  old  songs  which  find  a  place  in  its  pages.  Though 
these  bear  evidence  of  instrumental  arrangement,  the  versions  are 
remarkably  pure.  Byrde  and  Giles  Farnaby  may  be  named  as 
the  most  masterly  harmonizers  of  such  traditional  melodies  as  are 
employed.  Among  the  airs,  which  were  chosen  as  themes  for 
movements  designed  for  the  virginals,  are  the  following: — 

Walsingham        -  -         Arranged  by  Dr.  Bull 

Go  from  my  Window  -      Thomas  Morley 

Jhon,  come  kisse  me  now  -        William  Byrde 


Nancie    - 



St.  Thomas'  Wake 


Appendix  A 

The  Woods  so  Wilde     - 

Go  from  my  Window 

King's  Hunt 

The  Carman's  Whistle    - 

The  Hunt's  up    - 

Sellenger's  Round 

Fortune  my  Foe 

O  Mistris  myne  - 

The  Woods  so  Wild  (dated  1590) 

Walsingham        - 

All  in  a  Garden  Green 

Daphne  - 

Pawles  Warfe     - 

Quodling's  Delight 

Pavana  Lachrymae  (Dowland)  - 

Put  up  thy  Dagger,  Jemy 

Bonny,  sweet  Robin 

Tomkin's  Ground  /  • 

Barafostus'  Dreame 

The  King's  Hunt 

The  Spanish  Pavan 

Woody -cock 

The  New  Sa-Hoo 

Nobodyes  Gigge 

Malt's  come  down 

Pavana  (Lachrymae) 

Galiarda  (Lachrymae) 

Wolsey's  Wilde  - 

Callino  caslurame 


Why  aske  you     - 

Packington's  Pound 

Watkin's  Ale      - 

Fayne  would  I  wed 

Martin  sayd  to  his  man 

Gipseis  Round    - 

Loth  to  depart    - 

Up  tails  all 

Pescodd  Time     - 

Tell  me,  Daphne 

Mai  Sims 

Why  aske  you  ? 

Hanskin  (Jog  on,  jog  on  the  footpath  way) 


-  Orlando  Gibbons 

Giles  Farnaby 
William  Byrde 
William  Byrde 
William  Byrde 
William  Byrde 

-  William  Byrde 

William  Byrde 
William  Byrde 
Giles  Farnaby 
Giles  Farnaby 
Giles  Farnaby 
Set  by  William  Byrde 
Giles  Farnaby 

-  Thomas  Tomkins 

Dr.  John  Bull 
Dr.  John  Bull 
Giles  Farnaby 
Giles  Farnaby 

-  Richard  Farnaby 

-  William  Byrde 

-  Thomas  Morley 
Thomas  Morley 

William  Byrde 
William  Byrde 
William  Byrde 

-  Richard  Farnaby 

William  Byrde 
Giles  Farnaby 
Giles  Farnaby 

William  Byrde 
Giles  Farnaby 
Giles  Farnaby 
Giles  Farnaby 

-  Richard  Farnaby 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Play  ford's  English  Dancing  Master  (1651) : — 


I.*  Upon  a  Summer's  Day. 

2.*  Blew  Cap. 

3.*  The  Night-piece  ;  or,  the  Shaking  of  the  Sheets. 

The  Boate-man  :  a  Bag-pipe  tune,  with  drone. 
*  The  Beggar  Boy. 

The  Parson's  Farewell. 

7.  Bobbing  Joe  (Joan  ?).     "  My  dog  and  1 "  is  sung  to  this 

8.  The  New  Exchange. 

9.  The  Wish. 

10.*  Stingo;  or,  Oyle  of  Barley. 

11.  The  Whirligig. 

12.  Picking  of  Sticks. 

13.  The  Old  Mole. 

14.  Grimstock. 

15.  Woodicock. 

16.*  Greenwood.     This  is  "  Shall  I  go  walk  the  woods  so  wild  ?" 

17.  A  Saraband. 

1 8.  Hit  and  Miss. 

19.*  Confesse  ;  or,  the  Court  Lady. 

20.  A  Health  to  Betty. 

21.  Mage  on  a  Tree. 

22.  Millison's  (Millicent's)  Jegge. 

23.*  The  Spanish  Jeepsie.     This  is  "  Come,  follow,  follow  me." 

24.  Lady  Spillor. 

25.  Kemp's  Jegg  (called  after  "  Nine  Days'  Wonder,"  Kemp). 
26.*  If  all  the  World  were  Paper. 

27.*  The    Chirping    of   the    Lark   (Robin    Hood    and   Guy    of 


28.     Adson's  Saraband. 
29.*  None  Such;  or,  A  la  mode  de  France. 
30.*  The  Merry,  Merry  Milkmaids. 
31.*  Daphne  ("When  Daphne  did  from  Phoebus  fly"). 
32.*  Mill-field. 

33.  The  Fine  Companion. 

34.  Cast  a  Bell. 

35.  Shellamefago. 

36.  The  Rose  is  Red,  the  Rose  is  White. 
37-     The  Spanyard. 

38.  *  Have  at  thy  Coat,  Old  Woman. 

*  Indicates  that  the  words  have  come  down  to  us. 

Appendix  A 

39.*  To  Drive  the  Cold  Winter  away  ;  or,  The  Gun. 
40.     Pepper's  Black. 

41.*  The  Maid  peept  out  at  the  Window;  or,  The  Friar  in  the 

42.  Halfe  Hanniken. 

43.  *  Once  I  Loved  a  Maiden  Faire. 

44.*  Fain  I  Would  ;  or,  The  King's  Complaint. 

45.  The  Irish  Lady ;  or,  Anniseed-water  Robin. 

46.  My  Lady  Cullen. 

47.  The  Bath. 

48.  Jog  on,  my  Honey. 

49.*  Goddesses  ("I  would  I  were  in  my  own  country"). 
50.*  The  Health  ;  or,  the  Merry  Weasel. 

51.  Heart's  Ease. 

52.  Jack  Pudding. 

53.  Prince  Rupert's  March. 

54.  Dissembling  Love ;  or,  the  Lost  Heart. 

55.  Argeers. 

56.  Jack-a-Lent. 
57.*  Maiden  Lane. 

58.     The  Chirping  of  the  Nightingale. 

59.*  A  Soldier's  Life. 

60.     Sweet  Masters. 

6l.*  Cuckolds  all  a-row;  also  the  Cavaliers'  song,  "  Hey,  boys,  up 

we  go." 

62.     Petticoat  Wag. 

63.*  Paul's  Steeple  ;  or,  I'm  the  Duke  of  Norfolk. 
64.     Rufty  Tufty. 
65.*  All  in  a  Garden  Green. 
66.*  Dargason  (spelt  Dagesson) ;  or,  Sedanny,  "The  Hawthorn 


67.  Aye  Me. 

68.  The  Punk's  Delight. 

69.  The  Milkmayde's  Bobb. 

70.*  An  Old  Man  is  a  Bed  full  of  Bones. 

71.  Cheerily  and  Merrily. 

72.  The  Country  Coll. 

73.  Dull  Sir  John. 

74.  Saturday  Night  and  Sunday  Morning. 
75.*  New  Boe-peep. 

76.     Hockley  in  the  Hole. 

*  Indicates  that  the  words  have  come  down  to  us. 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

77.  The  Chestnut. 

78.  Staines  Morriss 

79.  Paule's  Wharfe. 

80.*  Tom  Tinker's  my  True  Love. 

81.  Kettle-drum  ;  or,  He  that  hath  a  Good  Wife. 

82.  Hide  Parke. 

83.  Mundesse. 

84.  *  Ladye  lie  neare  me. 
85.*  Lull  me  beyond  thee. 
86.     Jenny  pluck  Pears. 
87.*  The  Glory  of  the  West. 

88.  Gathering  Peascods. 

89.  Scotch  Cap. 

90.  New  Nothing. 

91.  Step  Stately. 

92.  Shepherd's  Holiday  ;  or,  Labour  in  Vaine. 

93.  Graie's  Inn  Maske  ("  Mad  Tom  "). 

94.  The  Slip. 

95.  The  Tender  Gentlewoman ;  or,  The  Hemp-dressers. 

Select  Musical  Ayres,  1653;  John  Playford.  This  is  a  typical  seven- 
teenth-century song  collection.  The  composers  include  Wilson, 
the  two  Colmans,  H.  and  W.  Lawes,  Webb,  Lanier,  Jeremy 
Savile,  and  others.  The  verses  are  (as  a  rule)  first-class  poems, 
by  Jonson,  Suckling,  Waller,  Cotton,  Dryden,  and  Shirley. 

Ayres  and  Dialogues,  three  books,  1653;  Henry  Lawes.  This  is  the 
first  individual  song-collection  of  any  importance.  Many  of  the 
airs  are  sung  to  this  day. 

Orpheus  Britannicus,  1698  and  1706;  Henry  Purcell.  The  second  edition 
of  this  posthumous  collection  is  the  more  interesting  of  the  two. 
It  contains  105  well-selected  songs  by  the  first  great  song-writer 
of  this  country. 

Pills  to  Purge  Melancholy,  1719-1720.  Set  to  music  by  Dr.  John 
Blow,  Mr.  Henry  Purcell,  and  other  excellent  masters  of  the  town ; 
written  by  Tom  Durfey.  From  a  musical  point  of  view  this  queer 
old  collection  is  a  complete  failure.  As  an  authority,  it  is  ex- 
tremely unreliable.  Its  use  is  chiefly  in  confirming  or  rejecting 
other  authorities.  It  has,  however,  secured  a  reprint,  when  many 
a  better  song-book  lies  obscured  by  the  dust  of  centuries.  No 
book  has  ever  been  oftener  referred  to,  or  less  quoted.  Durfey 
(1649-1723)  issued  three  collections  of  songs  written  by  himself  and 

*  Indicates  that  the  words  have  come  down  to  us. 


Appendix  A 

set  to  music  by  first-rate  writers,  between  1683  and  1685.  He 
re-issued  many  of  these  in  four  small  volumes  in  1706,  under  the 
title  Wit  and  Mirth,  and  in  the  second  volume  of  the  large  work 
of  1719  the  title  appears  as  Wit  and  Mirth  ;  or,  Pills  to  Purge 

The  sixty-nine  airs  in  The  Beggar's  Opera  (1727-28)  : — 

1.  An  Old  Woman  clothed  in  Gray. 

2.  The  Bonny  Gray-eyed  Morn. 

3.  Cold  and  Raw. 

4.  Why  is  your  Faithful  Slave  Disdained  ? 

5.  Of  all  the  Simple  Things  ("  The  Mouse-trap*') 

6.  What  shall  I  do  to  Shew. 

7.  O  !  London  is  a  Fine  Town. 

8.  Grim  King  of  Ghosts. 

9.  Jenny,  where  hast  thou  been  ? 

10.  Thomas,  I  cannot. 

11.  A  Soldier  and  a  Sailor. 

12.  Now,  ponder  well,  ye  parents  dear. 

13.  Le  Printemps  (French  air). 

14.  Pretty  Parrot. 

15.  Pray,  Fair  One  be  Kind. 

16.  Over  the  Hills  and  Far  Away. 

17.  Gin  thou  wert  my  ain  Thing. 

18.  O !  the  Broom. 

19.  Fill  every  Glass. 

20.  March  in  Rinaldo. 

21.  Would  you  have  a  Young  Virgin  ("  Poor  Robin's  Maggot  "). 

22.  Cotillon. 

23.  All  in  a  Misty  Morning. 

24.  When  once  I  lay. 

25.  When  first  I  laid  Siege  to  my  Chloris. 

26.  Courtiers,  Courtiers,  think  it  no  harm. 

27.  A  Lovely  Lass  to  a  Friar  came. 

28.  'Twas  when  the  Sea  was  Roaring. 

29.  The  Sun  had  Loos'd  his  Weary  Team. 

30.  How  Happy  are  we. 

31.  Of  Noble  Race  was  Shenkin. 

32.  Old  air,  the  title  forgotten  by  Gay. 

33.  London  Ladies. 

34.  All  in  the  Downs. 

35.  Have  you  heard  of  a  Frolicsome  Ditty. 

36.  Irish  Trot. 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

37.  Old  air,  name  forgotten. 

38.  Gossip  Joan. 

39.  Irish  Howl. 

40.  The  Lass  of  Patie's  Mill. 

41.  If  Love's  a  Sweet  Passion. 

42.  South  Sea  Ballad. 

43.  Packington's  Pound. 

44.  Lilliburlero. 

45.  Down  in  the  North  Countrie. 

46.  A  Shepherd  kept  Sheep. 

47.  One  Evening  passing  Lost  my  Way. 

48.  Now,  RSger  I'll  tell  thee. 

49.  O  Betsy  Bell. 

50.  Would  Fate  to  me. 

51.  Come,  Sweet  Lass.' 

52.  The  Last  Time  I  went  o'er  the  Moor. 

53.  Tom  Tinker's  my  True  Love. 

54.  I  am  a  Poor  Shepherd  undone. 

55.  lanthe  the  Lovely. 

56.  A  Cobbler  there  was. 

57.  Bonny  Dundee. 

58.  Happy  Groves. 

59.  Sally  in  our  Alley. 

60.  Britons,  Strike  Home  ! 

61.  Chevy  Chace. 

62.  Old  Sir  Simon  the  King. 

63.  Joy  to  Great  Caesar. 

64.  There  was  an  Old  Woman. 

65.  Did  you  ever  Hear  of  a  Gallant  Soldier. 

66.  Why  are  Thine  Eyes  Still  Glancing  ? 

67.  Green  Sleeves. 

68.  All  you  that  must  take  a  Leap. 

69.  Lumps  of  Pudding. 
I'm  a  Skiff  (in  Overture  ?) 

The  Beggar's  Opera  was  written  by  John  Gay  in  1727,  and  produced 
by  John  Rich  at  Lincoln's  Inn  Fields  Theatre  not  long  after.  Dr. 
Pepusch  arranged  and  scored  the  sixty-nine  airs,  which  contributed 
so  much  to  the  success  of  the  work.  Burney  says  that  Pepusch 
"was  very  judiciously  chosen  by  Gay,  to  help  him  to  select  the 
tunes  for  The  Beggar's  Opera,  for  which  he  composed  an  original 
overture  upon  the  subject  of  one  of  the  tunes  ("  I'm  Like  a  Skiff"), 
and  furnished  the  wild,  rude,  and  often  vulgar  melodies  with  basses 

Appendix  A 

so  excellent  that  no  sound  contrapuntist  will  ever  attempt  to  alter 
them."  Pepusch's  basses  have  been  long  superseded.  They  were 
not,  however,  unskilful  for  their  day;  but  collectors  either  write 
their  own,  or  go  further  back  to  better  sources. 

The  Minstrel :  A  Collection  of  English  Songs  and  Cantatas.  London, 

English  Songs,  with  their  Original  Airs,  and  a  Historical  Essay; 
Joseph  Ritson.  London,  1783.  This  excellent  collection  contains 
some  hundreds  of  airs  drawn  from  all  sources.  Its  principal  merit 
is  its  catholicity.  When  asked  by  a  lady  why  he  did  not  put  a 
bass  to  the  airs,  Ritson  replied,  ' '  What  would  you  have  a  bass  for  ? 
— to  spoil  the  treble  ?" 

Ancient  Songs  from  the  Time  of  King  Henry  III.  to  the  Revolution; 
Joseph  Ritson.  London,  1792.  Though  not  strictly  a  musical 
work,  several  important  musical  examples  occur  in  this  admirable 
volume.  The  very  first  piece  is  "  Sumer  is  icumen  in,"  with  the 
notes.  In  commenting  upon  the  observations  of  Wanley  and 
Burney  regarding  this  monumental  work,  Ritson  fixed  the  date, 
without  hesitation,  as  early  at  least  as  the  year  1250,  a  judgment 
since  universally  accepted.  The  most  notable  additions  which  the 
compiler  made  in  his  Ancient  Songs  were  drawn  from  an  old  MS. 
(Add.  MSS.  5666)  of  the  fifteenth  century,  which  Ritson  presented 
to  the  British  Museum.  Others  of  his  choicest  examples  were 
taken  from  Ravenscroft. 

Edward  Jones'  Popular  Cheshire  Melodies,  1798.  This  little  collec- 
tion preserves  for  us  the  well-known  air  of  "The  Cheshire 

Musica  Antiqua,  two  volumes,  1812;  Stafford  Smith.  Contains  many 
early  songs  of  the  Troubadours,  and  a  few  by  Coperario,  Robert 
Jones,  Johnson,  Byrde,  and  others.  Some  are  included  in  these 

Crotch's  Specimens,  three  volumes,  1820  circa;  includes  a  few  good 
quotations  of  early  English  airs. 

Some  Ancient  Christmas  Carols,  1822;  Davis  Gilbert.  A  collection 
made  in  Cornwall. 

The  Sea  Songs  of  England;  selected  from  original  MSS.  and  early 
printed  copies  in  the  library  of  William  Kitchiner,  M.D.  London, 
1823.  A  fine  collection  of  its  class,  with  old-fashioned  accompani- 

Loyal  and  National  Songs;  William  Kitchiner,  M.D.  London,  1823. 
Dr.  Bull's  variations  on  "  God  save  the  Kinge  "  (a  fugue  subject, 
bearing  no  resemblance  to  the  National  Anthem)  are  reprinted  in 
this  excellent  volume  of  part-pieces. 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 


Ancient  Songs  and  Old  English  Melodies,  in  two  volumes,  published 
1 838-39 ;  by  William  Chappell.  Form  the  first  systematized  attempt 
at  a  real  song  anthology.  Volume  I.  contains  the  words  and 
historical  notes,  while  the  music  is  confined  to  the  second  part. 
Crotch,  G.  A.  Macfarren,  and  J.  A.  Wade,  harmonized  the  airs, 
of  which  there  are  245.  The  attention  this  excellent  publication 
awakened  led  to  a  reprint  with  considerable  additions.  This  is 
referred  to  below. 

Minstrel  Melodies.     A  collection  of  songs,  121110.     London,  1839. 

The  National  Minstrel,  or  Songster's  Companion.  A  collection  of  400 
popular  songs.  London,  1840. 

Rev.  J.  Broadwood's  privately-printed  collection,  drawn  from  Surrey 
and  Sussex,  1840. 

Musical  Illustrations  of  Percy's  Reliques,  by  E.  F.  Rimbault,  1850 
(Cramer  Beale  &  Co.).  This  useful  collection  contains  several 
ballad-tunes  not  easily  met  with  elsewhere. 

Popular  Music  of  the  Tftden  Time,  1859;  by  William  Chappell.  In 
this  work  no  less  than  400  airs  are  included,  with  the  whole  of  the 
harmonizations  by  G.  A.  Macfarren.  Mr.  Chappell's  account  of 
the  songs  is  everywhere  admitted  to  be  authoritative.  Without 
disparaging  Macfarren's  laborious  share  in  the  work,  it  may  safely 
be  said  that  Chappell  would  have  done  much  better  if  he  had 
copied  the  original  harmonies  where  available.  By  a  mistaken 
attempt  to  make  the  work  suitable  for  practical  performance,  it  is 
robbed  of  a  lasting  worth.  The  new  edition  of  Professor  Woold- 
ridge  has  certainly  restored  and  added  weight  to  the  whole  work. 
In  withdrawing  the  eighteen  folksongs  (of  doubtful  pedigree), 
Professor  Wooldridge  sensibly  increases  the  value  of  the  book. 

English  National  Melodies,  edited  by  Sir  Henry  Bishop  and  Charles 
Mack  ay. 

Melodies  of  Various  Nations;  first  volume  arranged  by  Bishop. 

Commonplaces  of  Music,  1871-73;  John  Curwen.  Contains  specimens 
of  early  English  music,  from  the  eleventh  to  the  fourteenth 
centuries,  etc. 

Nursery  Rhymes  and  Country  Songs,  1877;  Miss  Mason. 

English  Songs  (58),  edited  by  John  Hullah,  1880  circa  (Augener  &  Co.). 
A  capital  collection  of  the  seventeenth  and  eighteenth  centuries. 

Northumbrian  Minstrelsy,  1882;  Stokoe  and  Collingwood  Bruce. 

Fifty-four  Folk-airs  to  Broadside  Ballads  (Novel lo),  1882;  W.  A.  Barrett. 
These  were  collected,  for  the  most  part,  from  an  old  shepherd  on 
the  South  Downs,  near  Shoreham,  Sussex. 

Songs  of  England.  A  collection  of  274  English  melodies  of  the  last 
three  centuries.  Three  volumes,  Boosey  &  Co.  The  first  two 


Appendix  A 

volumes  are  edited  by  J.  L.  Hatton,  the  last  by  Dr.  Eaton  Faning, 
1886  circa,  and  more  recent  editions.  The  work  has  deservedly 
enjoyed  a  wide  popularity. 

Music  of  the  Waters,  1888;  Miss  L.  A.  Smith. 

Forty  Sailors'  Songs  or  Chanties,  1888  ;  edited  by  Ferris  Tozer  Boosey. 

The  Besom  Maker,  1888;  H.  Summer. 

Songs  of  the  West  (Methuen  &  Co),  four  parts  1889-92,  re-issued  1905, 
by  Baring  Gould.  Contains  chiefly  traditional  country  songs. 

English  Songs,  1890  circa  (Augener  &  Co.),  W.  A.  Barrett.  One 
hundred  songs  principally  of  the  eighteenth  century. 

Sussex  Songs,  collected  by  Miss  L.  E.  Broadwood,  1890. 

Traditional  Tunes  (Yorkshire),  1891;  Frank  Kidson. 

English  County  Songs,  1893;  Miss  L.  E.  Broadwood. 

A  Garland  of  Country  Song,  1895;  Baring  Gould. 

English  Minstrelsie,  1895;  S.  Baring  Gould,  M.A.  This  eight-volume 
work — issued  by  Messrs.  Jack,  Edinburgh — contains  245  songs, 
many  of  which  are  genuine  folk-lore.  A  few,  such  as  "The  Mid- 
summer Carol"  and  "May-day  Carol,"  are  not  easily  met  with 
elsewhere.  Country  songs  are  especially  well  represented.  The 
annotations  are  always  helpful  and  interesting,  and  a  well-written 
essay  appears  in  Volume  VII. 

The  Minstrelsy  of  England :  a  collection  of  200  English  songs  from  the 
sixteenth  to  the  middle  of  the  eighteenth  century;  edited  by  Alfred 
Moffat  (Bayley  &  Ferguson),  1901.  This  is  a  well-chosen  selection  of 
old  songs,  many  of  which  were  previously  lost  sight  of.  Useful  anno- 
tations are  included,  from  the  pen  of  Mr.  Frank  Kidson,  of  Leeds. 

Old  Sea  Chanties;  J.  Bradford  and  A.  Fagge,  1904  (Metzler  &  Co.). 

The  Minstrelsy  of  England,  edited  by  E.  Duncan,  1905  (Augener  &  Co.). 
The  collection  numbers  about  200  songs,  the  best  of  which  are 
drawn  from  ancient  sources.  A  few,  such  as  "  Westron  Wynde," 
" Trenchmore,"  the  "Agincourt  Song,"  etc.,  possess  the  rare 
merit  of  being  really  ancient  and  at  the  same  time  practicable  songs. 

Journal  of  the  Folk-song  Society.  Books  i-io  are  issued.  London,  1907. 
Many  interesting  little  country  airs  may  be  found  in  these  volumes, 
which  form  a  useful  record  of  surviving  folk-song. 

British  Nursery  Rhymes  and  Jingles;  edited  by  Messrs.  Moffat  and 
Kidson.  This  collection  of  75  simple  melodies,  arranged  in  an 
easy  and  attractive  manner,  boasts  several  airs  of  undoubted  age. 
For  instance,  the  song  "  To-morrow  the  Fox  will  come  to  Town  " 
is  a  vocal  version  of  the  celebrated  dance-tune  "Trenchmore." 
Ravenscroft  first  printed  it  as  a  song,  almost  three  centuries  ago. 
"Old  King  Cole  "is  scarcely  less  ancient.  "When  good  King 
Arthur  ruled  this  Land,"  associated  with  several  old  airs  (such  as 
"  Chevy  Chase"),  is  set  by  Mr.  Moffat  to  "  one  of  our  very  early 

321  Y 

Story  of  Minstrelsy 

ballad  tunes."  "  There  was  an  Old  Woman  went  up  in  a  Basket," 
generally  given  to  Purcell,  but  "  probably  erroneously  "  (if  Mr. 
Kidson's  note  carries  conviction),  is  none  other  than  the  far-famed 
air  of  "  Lilliburlero."  Most  musicians  will  be  inclined  to  believe 
that  the  music  bears  evidence  that  it  could  have  been  writ  by  no 
other  hand.  "  Musick's  Handmaid"  (1689),  issued  one  year  after 
James  II.  was  sung  out  of  three  kingdoms,  bears  the  composer's 
name.  Children,  old  and  young,  will  welcome  these  fine  old 
tunes.  Hundreds  more  are  in  existence. 

Children's  Songs  of  Long  Ago,  also  edited  by  Messrs.  Moffat  and 
Kidson  (Augener),  may  be  regarded  as  a  continuation  of  the 
above- described  volume.  The  airs  are  not,  however,  entirely 
English.  Some  few  are  old,  such  as  "Sweet  Summer  is  come," 
set  to  the  tune  of  "The  Winning  of  Cales"  (Cadiz),  possibly  a 
relic  of  the  Middle  Ages. 

Fifty  Shakespeare  Songs;  edited  by  Charles  Vincent,  Mus.  Doc.,  Oxon. 
(Oliver  Ditson  Co.,  Boston,  U.S.A.).  Folio,  1906.  A  hand- 
some collection  of  Shakespearean  airs,  including  most  of  the  best 
traditional  songs,  and  those  associated  with  the  poet's  works. 
Parti,  comprises  the  songs  "Peg  o'  Ramsay,"  " Greensleeves," 
"Heigho  for  a  Husband,"  "  Heart's-ease,"  "Light  o'  Love," 
"Three  Merry  Men  be  we,"  and  Robert  Jones'  "Farewell,  dear 
Love."  The  second  group  includes  an  excellent  arrangement  of 
"The  Willow  Song,"  "O  Mistress  mine,"  "It  was  a  Lover  and 
his  Lass"  (Morley),  "Where  the  Bee  sucks"  (Johnson),  '^Full 
Fathom  Five"  (Johnson),  "Lawn  as  White  as  Driven  Snow,"  and 
"Take,  oh!  take  those  Lips  away  "  (Dr.  Wilson).  The  interest 
is  maintained  in  the  third  part,  which  offers  some  of  the  great 
settings  by  Purcell  and  Arne,  and  a  few  simple  airs  by  Banister, 
Humfreys,  and  Leveridge.  The  English  setting  by  the  last-named 
composer  of  "  Who  is  Sylvia  ?  "  deserves  to  be  more  widely  known. 
Schubert,  Schumann,  Curshmann,  and  Rossini  figure  in  the  final 
division  of  the  book,  which  gives  some  modern  versions,  a  few  of 
which  are  famous.  Sir  Hubert  Parry's  "  Fear  no  more  the  Heat  of 
the  Sun,"  will  be  welcomed  by  many;  it  is  thoughtful  and 
expressive.  Coleridge  Taylor's  music  to  "O,  Mistress  mine"  is  a 
clever  piece  of  melodic  work.  The  volume  is  a  valuable  one. 

The  Vocal  Music  of  Shakespeare's  Plays.  Twovols.  London:  Samuel 

The  National  Song  Book  (Boosey,  1906),  edited  by  Charles  Villiers 
Stanford.  A  fine  collection  of  50  English  Songs,  6  Carols  and 
24  Rounds  and  Catches,  supplemented  with  Irish,  Scotch,  and 
Welsh  airs,  suggested  by  the  Board  of  Education  (1905). 

Twelve   Old    English    Songs    (Joseph    Williams,    1907),    edited    by 


Appendix  A 

E.  Duncan.     A  choice  selection  of  rare  melodies  by   Purcell, 
Greene,  Arne,  etc. 

English  Music  (1604-1904):  being  the  Lectures  given  at  the  Music 
Loan  Exhibition  of  the  Worshipful  Company  of  Musicians,  held  at 
Fishmongers'  Hall,  London  Bridge,  June-July,  1904  (The  Walter 
Scott  Publishing  Co.,  Ltd.,  1906).  This  interesting  volume  con- 
tains a  valuable  series  of  papers  covering  a  period  of  three  centuries 
of  English  music.  The  Musicians'  Company  has  a  history  and 
association  which  belong  to  the  Middle  Ages;  and  though  the 
actual  charter  dates  only  from  1604,  Edward  IV.  granted  a  patent 
right  to  "his  beloved  minstrels"  as  early  as  1469.  The  papers 
which  deal  most  directly  with  Minstrelsy  are  the  following: 
"English  Songs,"  by  Dr.  W.  H.  Cummings;  "Madrigals,"  Dr. 
Markham  Lee;  "Music  in  England  in  the  year  1604,"  Sir  J.  F. 
Bridge;  "Dances  of  Bygone  Days,"  Algernon  Rose;  "Masques 
and  Early  Operas,"  A.  H.  D.  Prendergast;  "English  Opera  after 
Purcell,"  Dr.  F.  J.  Sawyer;  "Cathedral  Music  Composers,"  Dr. 
Huntley;  "Music  of  the  Country-side,"  Sir  Ernest  Clarke;  "Early 
Music-printing,"  Alfred  Littleton. 

Jacobite  Songs  (Bayley  £  Ferguson);  edited  by  Alfred  Moffat.  Though 
not  of  the  finest  period  of  native  song,  Jacobite  productions  are 
extremely  numerous.  Mr.  Moffat's  selection  is  a  carefully-chosen 
one,  and  includes  much  of  the  best  melody  of  the  Stuart  times. 

Morris  Dance  Tunes;  collected  from  traditional  sources  and  arranged 
with  pianoforte  accompaniment  by  Cecil  J.  Sharp  and  Herbert 
Macilvvaine  (London:  Messrs.  Novello  &  Co.,  1907).  Mention 
has  already  been  made  of  the  history  of  Morris  dancing;  these  two 
volumes  offer  twelve  practical  examples  illustrating  the  several 
phases  of  this  early  and  popular  diversion.  Pipe  and  tabor  origin- 
ally accompanied  such  pieces,  and  the  very  names,  "  Stick  Dance," 
"Handkerchief  Dance,"  and  "Hand-clapping  Dance,"  take  us 
back  to  times  when  the  village  greens  of  old  England  witnessed 
the  celebration  of  Robin  Hood  games  and  processions  and  pageants 
in  honour  of  May-day. 

The  Oriana  Collection  of  Early  Madrigals  (London:  Novello  &  Co.). 
Although  not  confined  to  native  productions,  this  fine  edition  of 
some  of  the  best  early  vocal  music  deserves  prominent  mention  in 
our  anthology.  It  includes  an  issue  of  the  famous  Triumphs  of 
Oriana  (Thomas  Morley,  1601),  by  Este,  Benet,  Hilton,  Morley, 
Wilbye,  and  Weelkes,  and  maintains  its  high  reputation  by  the 
addition  of  pieces  by  such  writers  as  Byrde,  Orlando  Gibbons,  and 
Thomas  Bateson.  The  madrigals  are  for  four,  five,  and  six  voices. 

English  Folk-song:  Some  Conclusions,  by  Cecil  J.  Sharp.  Barnicott 
&  Pearce,  Taunton. 


Appendix  B. 
Glossary  and  Definitions. 

Bagpipe,  a  favourite  instrument  with  the  Celtic  races.  Known  in 
Irish  poetry  in  the  tenth  century.  A  form  of  the  instrument 
appears  on  a  coin  of  the  time  of  Nero,  who,  according  to  Suetonius, 
was  a  performer  on  the  instrument.  In  Henry  IV.'s  time  the  bag- 
pipes were  carried  on  the  march,  in  order  that  when  the  barefoot 
pilgrim  "striketh  his  too  upon  a  stone,  and  hurteth  him  sore,  and 
maketh  him  to  blede,  it  is  well  done  that  he  or  his  fellow  begin 
then  song,  or  else  take  out  of  his  bosom  a  Baggepype  for  to  drive 
away  with  soche  mirth  the  hurte  of  his  fellow." 

Balades  (Ballad),  originally  a  dancing-song ;  afterwards  a  lyric  tale 
in  verse. 

Bandores,  see  Pandora. 

Burden  (or  Burthen),  indicates  the  chorus,  which  was  probably  danced 
as  well  as  sung.  "  Bourdon  "  (French  for  "  drone  ")  meant  drone- 
bass,  and  bass.  Chaucer  uses  it  in  the  latter  sense— "This  somp- 
nour  bare  to  him  a  stiff  burdoun." 

Cantabanqui  (Italian),  Ballad-singers,  singers  on  benches. 

Carping,  Reciting. 

Chants  Royaux.  Pasquier  describes  the  Chant  Royal,  or  King's 
note,  as  "a  song  in  honour  of  God,  the  Holy  Virgin,  or  any  other 
argument  of  dignity." 

Cittern,  or  Cithren,  like  an  old  English  guitar,  with  four  double 
strings  of  wire.  The  gittern  (or  giterne)  was  somewhat  similar, 
but  strung  with  gut  instead  of  wire.  Both  instruments,  together 
with  the  lute  and  virginals,  were  common  furniture  of  the  barbers' 
shops  of  the  sixteenth  and  seventeenth  centuries, 

Clarion,  a  small  shrill  trumpet. 


Appendix  B 

Complaints,  a  short  expostulatory  poem  of  French  origin,  with  seven- 
verse  stanzas  1  and  few  rhymes,  with  a  V Envoy.  Chaucer  has  a 
"complaint"  to  his  purse. 

Coranto  (Courante,  Corrente),  from  courir,  to  run.  A  dance  of 
French  origin.  The  French  and  Italian  dances  of  this  name  are 
both  quick  and  in  triple  time.  The  Italian  is  usually  in  running 
passages,  almost  moto  perpeluo;  while  the  French  is  in  3-2  time, 
with  more  dignity  and  greater  variety  of  rhythm. 

Crwth  (i.e.,  Crooth),  Crouth,  or  Crowd,  the  oldest  stringed  instrument 
played  with  a  bow.  In  its  oldest  form  there  are  but  three  strings, 
later  forms  have  six.  Known  in  the  early  seventh  century,  and  in 
use  in  Wales  at  the  beginning  of  the  eighteenth  century. 

Ditees,  Ditty  (Lat.  Dictum),  a  little  poem  for  singing ;  a  lay,  a  song 
of  small  and  light  design. 

Drumslades,  drummers. 

Epithalmies,  marriage  songs. 

Galliard  (or  Romanesca),  a  dance— in  3-4  and  sometimes  4-4  time— 
of  Roman  origin.  Every  Pavan  (a  grave  dance)  had  its  Galliard 
(a  lighter  air  made  out  of  the  former). 

Harpc.  This  most  ancient  instrument  was  discovered  by  Bruce 
painted  in  fresco  on  the  tomb  of  Rameses  III.,  who  reigned  about 
1 250  B.C.  The  Anglo-Saxon  harp  was  of  triangular  shape,  with 
twelve  strings  ;  it  was  commonly  used  to  accompany  singing. 

Lais  (or  Lays).  The  Breton  Lays  were  originally  in  the  Armorican 
tongue,  being  translated  by  a  French  poetess  named  Marie,  about 
the  middle  of  the  thirteenth  century. 

Lute  (Spanish  "  Laud,"  Arabic  "Lud")  is  of  oriental  origin,  and 
became  westernized  at  the  time  of  the  Crusades.  In  shape  it  is 
modelled  like  the  guitar,  though  the  back  of  the  former  is  pear- 
shaped,  the  latter  flat.  The  early  lutes  had  few  strings,  and  even 
in  Mace's  time  (1676)  they  varied  from  ten  to  twenty-four.  The 
same  writer's  theorbo— a  class  of  bass  lute— had  twenty-six. 
Matheson  opined  that  a  lutenist  of  eighty  years  must  have  spent 
sixty  in  "tuning,"  and  that  the  cost  of  a  horse  or  a  lute  was  about 
the  same  in  Paris. 

Pandora,  a  large  cither. 

Pavan  (Pavin,  or  Pavane),  a  solemn  dance,  of  Spanish  or  Italian 
invention,  in  duple  time,  of  four  to  eight  measures.  The  dress 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

suggested  Pavo,  a  peacock.  Masquerades,  weddings,  and  re- 
ligious ceremonies  employed  the  dance,  which  originally  was 

Psaltery  (sautry  in  old  English),  a  dulcimer  played  either  with  the 
fingers  or  with  a  plectrum.  Chaucer  chooses  the  sautry  to 
accompany  the  angelus  (see  p.  232).  The  strings  were  trebled 
and  sometimes  quadrupled,  in  the  manner  of  a  pianoforte. 

Quinible,  an  extemporized  descant,  or  treble. 
Rebec  (see  Ribible). 

Rcgals  indicate  a  small  portable  organ.  Queen  Elizabeth  maintained 
an  organ-maker  at  twenty  pounds  a  year,  and  a  "  rigall-maker  "  at 
ten  pounds  per  annum.  The  Tuner  of  the  Regals,  in  the  Chapel 
Royal,  is  now  the  organ-builder. 

Ribible  (rebec  or  fiddle).  Diminutive  form  of  Rebibe  or  Rebec,  a 
small  three-stringed  fiddle. 

Rote  (Rota  or  Rotta),  a  kind  of  psaltery,  dulcimer,  or  primitve  zither 
with  seven  strings,  in  solid  wooden  frame.  Used  in  church  music 
during  the  middle  ages. 

Round ils  (Roundel  or  Roundelay).  An  old  form  of  poetical  com- 
position comprising  thirteen  verses,  of  which  eight  are  in  one 
rhyme  and  five  in  another.  A  rural  dance. 

Sackbut  (or  Sagbut),  a  bass  trumpet  or  trombone. 

Shalm  (Chalumeau),  a  reed  forming  a  shepherd's  pipe.  Also  known 
as  Bumbard  (or  Bombard).  Chaucer  uses  the  latter  form. 

Stillpipes,  probably  like  Doucettes,  a  small  soft  pipe,  in  contrast  to 
the  "  loud  shallmys  "  (Lydgate). 

Symphonic  (or  symphonia)  seems  to  indicate  a  kind  of  bass  drum, 
though  the  tympanum  was  employed  concurrently. 

Syrinx,  Pan-pipes  or  mouth  organ,  also  Pandean  pipes,  from  the  myth 
that  they  were  the  invention  of  the  god  Pan. 

Tabor,  or  little  drum,  mentioned  by  Mersennus  as  commonly  used  in 
conjunction  with  a  three-holed  flute  or  pipe. 

Tabret,  diminutive  form  of  tabor  (q.v.). 

Timbrel,  a  tambourine  used  for  accompanying  dancing  and  singing. 

Viele  (a  softened  form  of  fiddle,  fithele,  fiele,  viele).  It  has  been 
remarked  that  the  Anglo-Saxon  fithele  survived  the  Norman 


Appendix  B 

Conquest  at  least  a  century  and  a  half.  The  French  vielle,  originally 
the  large  primitive  violin  of  the  troubadours,  now  indicates  our 
English  hurdy-gurdy  (or  organistrum). 

Villanelle.    A  song  in  parts,  used  for  dancing. 

Viol,  an  early  form  of  violin,  with  five  or  six  strings,  regulated  by 
frets  and  played  with  a  bow. 

Virginals,  a  small  oblong  spinet,  called  Virginal  possibly  from 
being  much  used  by  the  nuns  and  young  girls.  The  compass  was 
generally  thirty-eight  notes,  with  keys  like  the  pianoforte.  The 
strings  were  plucked,  not  struck  as  in  the  latter  instrument. 

Vir layes,  an  ancient  French  poetical  form  comprising  short  verses  of 
seven  or  eight  syllables,  and  in  only  two  rhymes.  Chaucer's 
"  Alone  Walking"  is  in  this  form. 

Ycddings.     From  the  Saxon  Geddian  to  sing — a  merry  song. 


Appendix   C. 
Chronological  Table. 

1013  B.C.     Approximate  date  of  foundation  of  Druids'  orders  in  Britain. 

753  B.C.     Pytheas  visited  England. 
54  and  55  B.C.     Caesar  invades  England. 

194-211  A.D.     St.  Ceecilia  (martyr)  invented  the  organ. 

397     Date  of  St.  Ambrose's  death. 

449     Hengist  and  Horsa. 

510    Boethius. 

596    St.  Augustine. 

652    Anglo-Saxon  youths  study  in  France. 

735     The  Venerable  Bede. 

849-901     Alfred  the  Great. 

923     The  clergy  turn  minstrels. 

925     St.  Dunstan. 

980    Cornish  Carol  (q.v.). 

990    Guido  d'Arezzo. 
1036    Canute. 
1066    Taillefer  at  Hastings. 

1102     Minstrels  found  a  priory,  in  Henry  I.'s  reign. 
Beginning  of  I2th  century.     Rise  of  Proven5al  School. 
1193     Richard  I.  and  Blondel. 
1 2 12     Lacy  and  the  Chester  Minstrels. 
1220    Court  of  Love. 

1250     Sumer  is  icumen  in.     English  language  establishing  itself. 
1271     Minstrel  Crusade. 
1338     King  of  Minstrels. 

1387    John  of  Gaunt's  Minstrels'  Court  at  Tutbury. 
1403    Welsh  bards  prohibited. 
1412     Caxton. 
1415     Agincourt. 


Appendix  C 

1416     Minstrels  rewarded  at  Pentecost. 

1456     Boys  "impressed  as  minstrels"  for  Henry  VI. 's  chapel. 

1469     Charter  granted  to  minstrels  by  Edward  IV. 

1473     Music-printing. 

1495     Date  of  Higden's  "  Polychronicon  "  containing  first  music  printed 

in  England. 

1520    Minstrels'  charter  renewed  by  Henry  VIII. 
*539    Suppression  of  monasteries. 
1597     Wanderings  of  minstrels  cut  short  by  Queen  Elizabeth. 

1636  Charles  I.  renewed  the  Musicians'  Charter. 

1637  Opera  coming  into  vogue. 
1650    Violins  supersede  viols,  etc. 

1653     Playford's  "  Select  Ayres"  issued. 

1672     Macbeth  music  by  M.  Lock. 

1675     Overture  invented. 

1676-95     Purcell's  operas. 

1683     Sonatas  making  their  appearance. 

1700  and  onwards. — The  Classical  period. 

1740    Arne's  "Rule  Britannia"  produced. 

1758  Symphonies  appearing. 

1759  BoyceY"  Hearts  of  Oak  "  composed. 

1760  English  Glee  period. 

1781     Pianofortes  coming  into  general  use. 

1800     Schubert's  German  Lieder  bequest. 

1809-47     Mendelssohn's  influence  on  melody. 

1810-56     Schumann's  vocal  individuality  and  bearing. 

1813-1883     Wagner's  influence  on  recitative  and  melody. 

1814-1901     Verdi's  melodic  extravagance. 

1900    Feeble  sentiment  and  tune-unctuousness  of  songs. 



"A  THE  Syghes"  (music),  154 
"Aeterna  Christi  munera"  (music), 


Agmcourt,  92 
"  Agincourt  Song,"  93 
Alfred  the  Great,  17 
Ambrose,  32 

"Angelus  ad  Virginem,"  232-3 
Anglo-Saxon  instruments,  15 
Anlaf  the  Dane,  19 
Arcades  (Milton  and  Lawes),  202 
Arne,  297,  21 1 

"As  it  fell  on  a  Holy  Day,"  117 
Augustine,  St.,  34 
Autolycus'  songs,  244 


BACH,  229 
Balfe,  299 
Ballad,  earliest  printed,  265 ;  of 

the  Marigold,  173 
Ballad-makers,  edict  against,  272 
Ballad-singers  suppressed,  279 
Ballad-writers  (Lollards),  98 
Ballads,  a  chapter  of,  251 
Ballete,  264 
Baltzar,  208 
Bards,  4 
Barnefield  (on  Dowland),  190 

Bartholomew  Priory,  147,  52 
Becket,  Thomas  a,  53 
Bede,  16,  34 
Beggars  and  rogues,  193 
Bell-ringing,  149 
Beverley  Minster,  216 

St.  Mary's,  217 

Bishop,  Sir  Henry,  298 

Blitheman,  176 

Blondel,  60 

Blondel's  song,  61 

Blow,  Dr.,  295 

"Blow,  northern  wind,"  63 

Boleyn,  Anne,  141 

Bow  Bells,  150;  air  of,  149 

Bowyer,  Richard,  176 

Boy-bishop,  171 

Boyce,  Dr.,  298 

Breton,  Nicholas,  191 

Bridge,    Sir     F.  :    "Shakespeare 

Songs,"  249 
Broadsides,  278 
Bull,  Dr.,  188 
Bull-running  at  Tutbury,  90 
Bungey,  Castle  of,  56 
Burney,     Dr.,     183;     Autolycus' 

songs,     244 ;     Hucbald,     220 ; 

Purcell,  291 
Burton  (Anatomy  of  Melancholy}, 


Byrde,  168,  176 
Byrde's  "Jane  Shore"  (music),  181 ; 

"Reasons  for  Singing,"  178 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

OECILIA,  St.,  30 

Caedmon,  16,  23 

Cantabanqui,  135 

Canute,  24 

Carey,  Henry,  296 

Carol,  100,  185,  220 

Caxton's  Chronicles,  9  (footnote), 

Chanson,  44 

Chanson  a  deux  parties,  225 

Roland,  29 

Chappell,  280,  320,  69  (footnote) 

Charlemagne,  8,  28,  41,  104,  310 

Charles  I.,  200,  294 

II.,  290 

Charter,  Charles  I.'s,  213;  Ed- 
ward IV. 's,  107;  Henry  VIII.'s, 

Chaucer,  230 

Cheshire  Morris  Dance,  83 

Chester  Fair,  63 

Chester  Miracle-plays,  104 

Chettle,  277 

"Chevy  Chase,"  114,  116,  159 

Children  of  St.  Paul's  act  plays, 

105,  137,  148 
Chronological  Table  (Appendix  C), 

Church  music,  Edward  VI. 's,  158; 

Henry  VIII.'s,  145 
Cirencester,  St.  John's,  214 
Clerks  of  London,  170 
Cloveshoe,  37 
Cnut,  24 

Collet,  Dean,  138,  172 
"  Come,  all  ye  Foxhunters,"  303 
"  Come  o'er  the  Bourn,   Bessy," 


Commonwealth,  songs  of  the,  288 
Comus,  202 
Conquest,  minstrelsy  of  the,  49 

Cooper,  Coperario  (i7th  century), 

194,  196,  287 

Cooper  (i6th  century),  153 
Cornish  Carol,  220 
Cornysshe,  William,  136 
Coucy,  Chatelain  de,  43 
Country  Dance,  238 
Court,  music  at   Henry   VIII.'s, 


Coussemaker,  88,  226,  254 
Coventry,  105 
Coverdale,  Miles,  144 
"Crimson  Velvet,"  174 
Cromwell,  Oliver,  202 

Thomas  (at  Rome),  265 

Cromwell's  Ordinance,  206 
Crowley's  Psalter,  157 
Crusade,  last,  71 
Cushion  Dance,  260 
Cynthia's  Revels,  182 


DANCE  tune  (i3th  century),  257 

Dance  tunes,  253 

Dances  sung,  264 

Dallams,  207 

Day's  Psalter,  156,  178 

"  Death  rock  me  on  Sleep,"  141 

Dibdin,  298 

Doctor  in  Music,  first,  106 

"Dory,  John,"  117 

Dorset's  ballad,  278 

Dowland,  John,  189 

Druids,  3 

Dunstable,  106 

Dunstan,  St.,  19,  35 

Durfey,  Tom,  210 


EDWARD'!.,  71 
II.,  73 



Edward  III.,  81 

IV. 's  band,  108;  charter,  107; 

chapel,  no 
VI.  |      musicians     of,      161 ; 

chapel,  166 

Edwardes,  Richard,  282 
Elderton,  277 
Elizabeth,  Queen,  175,  182,  148; 

her  band,  175;  ritual  of,  176 
Ely,  monks  of,  25 
English,  earliest  specimens  of,  56 
Ensi  va,  81 
Erasmus,  145 

"Essex's  last  Good-night,"  271 
Este,  Michael,  192 
Evens  the  harper,  208 
Everyman,  105  (footnote) 
Exeter  Minstrels'  Gallery,  215 


FANCIES  for  the  organ,  209 

"Farewell,  dear  love,"  284 

Ferrabosco,  198 

Fitzwilliam  Virginal  Book,  241, 312 

Fletcher  of  Saltoun,  252 

Folksong,  what  is  a,  280 

"  Fortune  my  foe,"  269 

**  Four  and  twenty  fiddlers  all  in  a 

row,"  208 

Freemen's  songs,  134 
Funeral  of  Henry  VIII.,  157 


Galliard  (the  "frog"),  189 
German  Emperor  on  "  songs  of  the 

people,"  252 
Gilman,  138 
Giraldus  Cambrensis,  57 
Glasgerion,  234 

Glees,  300 

Glossary  and  Definitions  (Appen- 
dix B.),  324 

Goths,  12 

Grabu,  208 

Grace  after  meat,  207 

Grant,  a  curious,  151 

Gray's  Inn  Masque,  197 

Gray's  Ode,  72 

Gregory,  Pope,  34 

Greene,  Dr.,  296 

Gresham,  Sir  Thomas,  188 
-  College,  188 

Guide,  221 

Gunpowder  Plot,  195 


Hale,  Adam  de  la,  222 
Halliwell  Collection,  278 
Handel's    first   visit   to   England, 

Hanging-tunes,  268 
Harfleur,  siege  of,  96 
Harmony,   58;    its  rise   and   pro- 
gress, 219;  first  specimen  of,  220 
Hay  (or  hey),  a  dance,  237 
Hazlitt:    opinion   of    Dr.    Percy, 


"  Heart's- Ease,"  the  air  of,  250 
"  Heave  and  ho,"  101 
Henry  I.,  52 

-II.,  56 
—  III.,  69 

-IV.,  90 


-VI.,  97 

VII.,  120 

-VIII.,  127;  his  band,  138 
Henry  VII. 's  Chapel,  127 
Heralds  and  minstrels,  74 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

"  Hey,  Robin,  jolly  Robin,"  243 

Hey  wood,  John,  163 

Kingston,  John,  203 

Hock  Tuesday,  23 

"  Hold  thy  peace,  knave,"  242 

"  Hoppe  Willikin,"  55 

Horn,  antiquity  of  the,  26 

Horn-child,  51 

Hornpipes  of  Cornwaile,  240 

Howard,  Sir  John,  114 

Hucbald,  219 

Hullah,  281,  278 

Humfreys,  P.,  290 

Hunnis,  167 

"  Hunt  is  up,"  143 

Hunting-song,  303-6 

"Hunts-up,"  191,  183 

Hurdy-gurdy,  6,  231 


"I  ATTEMPT  from  Love's  Sick- 
ness," 291 

Immyns,  John,  300 

"In  the  Merry  Month  of  May," 

11 1  saw  a  swete  semly  Syght,"  87 

Ives,  Simon,  201 


JAMES  I.,  194 

Jane  Shore,  180 

"Je  demande  ma  Bienvenue,"  228 

Jenkins,  John,  210 

Jocasta,  1 80 

"John  Dory,"  117 

John,  King,  63 

John  of  Gaunt's  court  of  minstrels, 

Johnson,  Robert,  182 

Jongleurs,  42 
Josquin  des  Pres,  120 


KING  of  Minstrels,  72,  89 
King  of  Navarre,  44 
Knight's  vigil,  73 
Kyrie,  35 

LANEHAM,  182,  183,  266 
Lanier,  Nicholas,  199,  213 
Lavves,  Henry,  287 
Leicester,  Earl  of,  55 
Le  nouveau  terns,  44 
Leveridge,  Richard,  296,  248 
Libraries,  destruction  of,  147 
"Lie  still,  my  dear"  (a  song  of 

Elizabeth  Rogers),  205 
"Lilliburlero,"  292,  293 
Literature  of  Minstrelsy  (Appendix 

A.),  309 
Liturgy,  abolished,  200 

Cranmer's,  158 

Locke,  Matthew,  294 
Lollards,  98 
"  Loth  to  depart,"  204 
Luke  de  Barre,  53 
Lute,  209 

Edward  VI.  plays  the,  164 

Luther,  ballad  of,  165 
Lydgate,  97 


MACE,  Thomas,  209 
Machault,  Guillaume  de,  226 
"  Mad  Tom,"  Coperario's,  198 
Madrigals,  299 

Magdalen    College,    May    ist   at, 
207 ;  organ  at,  203 



Marbeck,  158,  155 

Marlow,  Christopher,  203 

Marot's  Psalms,  148 

Martyrs,  155 

Mary,  Queen,  169,  272 

Mary's  edict,  272 

Massacre  of  Welsh  bards,  72 

Masques  and  plays,  75,  125,  194, 

197,  202 

"  Masque  of  Queens,"  198 
Maying  in    Henry   VIII. 's   time, 


Mee,  Dr.,  220 

MMtrurSt  UEglise  des,  214 

Milton's  Comus,  202 

Mind,  Will,  and  Understanding, 

Minnesingers,  120 

Minstrels,  vagabond,  91,  192,  206 

Miracle-plays,  104 

Monasteries,  foundation  of  numer- 
ous,. 53;  suppressed,  147 

Monks,  intercourse  of  minstrels 
with  the,  76,  1 8 

Moralities,  123 

Morley's  Introduction,  179,  264; 
list  of  composers,  153 

Morris  Dance,  83 

Mart  d*  Arthur,  112 

Motet,  256 

Mouton,  1 20 

Mumpsimus,  37  (footnote) 

Music  at  meals,  183 

Music-printing,  first,  113 

Musicians' Company,  112,  195,  199 


Nativity-plays,  166 

Naylor,     Dr.:     Shakespeare    and 

Music,  243 
Newark,  William,  136 

"Nobilitas  Ornata,"  254-5 
Normans,  50 

North,  on  church  music,  157 
Northumberland,  Earl  of,  165 
Notation,  33,  42,  35,  254 
Nowell,  100 


Ockenheim,  120 
Odin,  7 
Opera,  199 

Organ,  31,  54,  140,  207 
Organ,  abandoned,  207,  203 
Orpheus  Britannicus,  291 
Osborne,  Dorothy,  204 
Otterburn,  Ballad  of,  114 


PAGEANTS,  83,  105 

Palestrina,  178,  228 

Parker,  Archbishop,  177 

Parry,     Sir    H.,    on    "rhythmic 

music,"  264 
Parsons,  176 
Passionate  music,  246 
"Passetyme"     (Henry      VIII.'s 

song),  128 

Paul's  Cross,  St.,  178 
Pentecost  at  Westminster,  77 
Peterborough,  frescoes  of,  215 
Piers  Plowman,  82 
Pills  to  Ptirge  Melancholy,  210 
Playford's   Select  Musical  Ayres, 

Plays  in  the  Chapel   Royal,    105 

(footnote),  137 
Poet  Laureate,  70 
Preces  Deo  (Byrde),  181 
Printing:  a  monopoly,  168 


Story  of  Minstrelsy 

Proclamations,  78,  142,  152 
Psalms  to  hornpipes,  148 
Publications  of  music,  first,  113 
Purcell,  Henry,  210,  291,200,  208 
Puttenham,  135,  143,  163,  190 

QUEEN  of  Heaven   (Angelus    ad 
Virginem),  232-3 


RAHERE,  52,  214 

Rastell's  "Four  Elements,"  123 



Raye  (or  Hay),  the  dance,  237 
"Reasons  for   Singing,"  Byrde's, 


Redford,  John,  138 
Reformation,  158 
Restoration,  music  of  the,  206 
Rhyming  coming  into  vogue,  165, 


Richard  I.,  59,  45 
II.,  85 

Richard's  ransom,  62 

Ritson's  MS.,  85 

Robin  Hood,  80,  126 

Robin  Hood  Ballad,  268 

"  Robin,  lend  to  me  thy  bow,"  275 

Rogers,  Dr.,  207 

Rondeau,  Adam  de  la  Hale's,  223 

Rote,  70 

Roy  des  Ministraulx,  88,  74 

Rudel,  54 

Russian  National  Anthem,  282 

SACHS,  Hans,  120 
Saxon  Chronicle^  20 
Scalds,  II,  25 

Schools,  monastic,  36 

Selden,  261 

Select  Musicall  Ayres,  Playford's, 

"Sellenger's  Round, "258, 259,  260 

Sergeant  of  Minstrels,  112 

Sermons  in  stones,  214 

"Seven  Sleepers,"  85 

Shakespeare,  240,  199 

Sheale,  Richard,  159,  114 

Shield,  298 

Singing-boys,  the  extinction  of,  207 

Skelton,  101,  135 

Slater's  Songs  of  Zt'on,  203 

Smeaton,  Mark,  142 

Song-collections  (Appendix  A), 

Songs,  a  chapter  on,  280 

Spanish  Armada,  188 

Statute,  Queen  Elizabeth's,  176 

Steevens :  on  Burney,  244 

Sternhold,  156 

"Sumer  is  icumen  in,"  67;  fac- 
simile of,  frontispiece;  music  of, 

Suppression  of  monasteries,  147 

Sydney,  Sir  Philip,  115 


TALBOT,  62 

Tallis,  168,  159,  155,  138 

"Tally  ho,  hark  away  !  "  303 

Tant  comje  vivrai,  223 

Taverner,  155,  122  (footnote) 

Theatres,  closing  of,  202 

"  The  Hunt  is  up,"  143 

Theorists  (i4th  century),  87 

"  To  you,  fair  Ladies,"  278 

"  To-morrow  shall  be  my  Dancing 

Day,"  185 

Thomas  a  Becket,  53 
Toulouse  Academy,  45 
"Traveller's  Song,"  14 



Troubadours,  41 
Tusser,  Thomas,  138 
Tutbury  Court,  88 

Tye,  Dr.,  159 
"Tyme  to  Passe,' 



Venes  h  neusches,  225 
Virginal  Book,  Queen  Elizabeth's, 
241,  312 

Elizabeth  Roger's,  205 

Virgo  Pudiciti(£)  227 
Vocal  Grove,  297 
Vows,  II,  73 


WAITE,  109 
Walsingham,  267 
Walton,  Izaac,  203 
Wars  of  the  Roses,  106 
"  Was  heil,"  9 
Welder,  Philip  van,  161 

Wells  Cathedral,  214 

Welsh  bards,  90 

"  Wert  thou  much  fairer  than  thou 

art,"  289 

'Westron  Wynde,"  122 
'When  the  Bright  God  of  Day," 


*  When  Robin  Hood,"  268 
1  Where  griping  Grief,"  282 
'  White  Wine  and  Sugar,"  196 

Whitelocke's  Coranto,  201 

William  I.,  50 

II.,  Si 

Wilson,  Dr.,  286-9 

"  Willy,  prithee  go  to  Bed,"  262 

Wolsey,  Cardinal,  139,  141 

Women   minstrels,  74   (footnote), 

Worcester,  bas-relief  at  the  cathe- 
dral, 214 

Wyatt,  Sir  Thomas,  167,  243 


Young,  Charles,  297 
Youths,  "impressed"  as  choristers, 
85,  138,  161,  163,  176